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Are cricketers beginning to give more importance to club level tournaments like IPL than playing for the country?

Cricket also known as the Gentlemen's game is one of the most quickly emerging game in modern times. There was a time when only England and Australia played competitive cricket but since the first world cup "the Prudential Cup" which took place in England to the current world cup held collectively in India, Srilanka, Bangladesh, it has captured the attention of millions of people and taken it to a new level.

First came test cricket known as the original game which checks the quality and patience a player possess. Then came the 60 over cricket game played in white uniforms only during day but it was further advanced to a new and more attractive form called "one day cricket" with players spotting colored jerseys and matches being organized during night too and overs reduced to 50-50.

Kerry Packer an Australian business tycoon gave cricket a new image by organizing the world cricket series and making it available to millions of viewers and fans who could watch their idols play and learn from them making it a global sport. Various county cricket tournaments started to be organized during this period only and latter being modified to suit the conditions .Players from various countries started joining various clubs like surrey, Lancashire, etc to play cricket and improve their level of game. Players like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar , Sachin Tendulkar and various prominent cricketers have all played county cricket and have been successful .

Cricket for a cricketer is either a passion or a profession. There was a time when cricketers played cricket as a passion and considered playing for their countries as an ultimate dream. Now for many young cricketers the passion has turned into profession .There are many reasons for this shift

  1. Increased competition for a place in the national side has made them think to focus more on club cricket to gain exposure and survival.
  2. Glitz and glamour of club cricket has made them give more importance to club cricket to gain popularity.
  3. Club cricket provide reasonable and regular wages to the cricketers.
  4. Youngsters take club cricket as an opportunity to gain attention of national selectors.

Twenty-twenty form of cricket has gained ready acceptance from the audience and the players as well. Various events like IPL or BIG bash has come as a booty to the cricketers who were waiting for a chance to make it to the big stage. Availability of players in auctions has given a reasonable proof that players are giving more importance to the club cricket. Various players like Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga has preferred club cricket over their country as the club provides more importance and better salary and fan following.

The increased competition has for players to sign for various cricket leagues and earn something. A leading cricket expert says that" it is sensible that the youngsters play in these events as it is better to play then to waste your talent then waiting for a chance in the national side".

Cricket in order to be a global sport has adopted the the approach of various sports like football, basketball who organize these club events throughout the years so has the the players shifted their focus on club cricket to keep themselves busy by signing for various clubs. The players justify their playing of club cricket as an opportunity to improve their game and to grab a chance to represent their country.

Few say that since their wait for a chance of playing cricket for their country is getting even more longer they see it as a chance to earn money and respect at club level . Club cricket has helped many cricketers to gain recognisation and fame .players like Keiron Pollard , Manish Pandey has earned great fame by playing club cricket and so they justify their playing of club cricket.

Pollard says that IPL has made him built a place in the national side and represent his country.

The rise of club cricket has justified that playing at various clubs is treated as equally as playing for the country as the players learn more about cricket and experience .

Surendra Lalriya