Indian Premier League, popularly known as IPL, has become a famous event among all cricket lovers. Apart from all the entertainment and actions involved in the event, it also has a lot of money in use. Big franchises invest in the games and spend a fortune to buy each player. The prices of the players depend on their performances and also their overall brand value. The magnitude of money involved in the game keeps getting bigger every year and it helps in making the event a lot better.
But the question here is, how is it affecting our players? Is it a good thing for them? Or not? To get an accurate answer to this, you would need to consider various aspects.
Firstly, there is no doubt in the fact that the league along with the money has created multiple opportunities and offered a different career path for the cricketers. The incoming money helps to strengthen the Indian Cricketing Board (BCCI)- they can now channel the funds towards the development of Indian cricket and make the team a better one, at different levels.
The other aspect of IPL is that the money and fame involved with the game might take a player’s focus off the game. It can threaten to take precedence over playing for one’s own country. This is particularly true for the foreign cricketers, as they want to play in this money-rich event.
In a recent interview to Betway, legendary West Indies opener Desmond Haynes also highlighted the fact that players earn good money in top T20 leagues like IPL and that improves their skills as a player and standard of living too.
“From my experience, everybody wants to play where there’s big money. At the end of the day, everybody’s wanting to improve their standard of living. But I always say to them, it is good to realize that you’ve got aspirations to get into the big leagues, but it’s also very important for you to work on becoming a good cricketer. If you do that, the financial side will look after itself,” Haynes quoted as saying by Betway.
The biggest challenge for any young cricketer, whether Indian or foreigner, is when they have secured a really big contract. Just imagine, a guy who is just 19-20 years old, getting crores worth of a contract might seem to be a lifetime opportunity for them. This is a phase that is not very easy to deal with. In these cases, taking assistance from friends, family, and coaches, and staying grounded becomes really vital. While some manage to do it, others really cannot.
It is to be remembered that not every player who grabs a big contract in the IPL, goes on to have a successful career. These days, every parent who brings their kids to the cricketing camp aspires that they play in the IPL. In an interview with The Times of India, Vijay Bhardwaj, former Indian all-rounder and assistant coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team say that parents tell him that their kids should play for India and if not, they should at least be selected in any IPL team.
What they fail to understand is, it is not easy either to play in the IPL team- it requires a very different skill set altogether. Also, the players are scrutinized much more harshly and in a different way when it comes to playing any franchise-based cricket league. As anyone starts playing the game, they would slowly understand how things actually work.
Thus, balancing the games between the international and the IPL format becomes very tough, especially for the youngsters and it is important that they understand the importance and keep themselves grounded.