Spare a thought for this bloke.
The World T20 has ended and it’s time to play some club cricket. It is IPL time.
As the time passes by and as the English summer approaches, the much-talked about debate of club cricket versus international cricket will once again rise to the surface.
There will be comments and recommendations from all parts of the cricketing world about what the players should do and what they should not.
It’s been six to seven years, at least by now everyone should have known that it’s extremely difficult for club cricket and international cricket to co-exist together and it’s time for administrators to set this conundrum fair and square.
If the players have an upcoming international duty in the middle of the league, either they terminate their participation in the league and catch up the international duty or like West Indies players, skip the international duty altogether and continue their participation in the league.
The majority of people have an opinion that national pride is at stake and players should give priority to international duty, which is the right thing to do from my perspective as well.
However, at the same time, you have got to understand the players’ side as well. A player might ask, ‘why should I leave the league half-way if I am being paid so heavily to play?’
To settle this issue, the best thing to do is to separate club and international cricket and play each of them at different times of the year.
T20 Cricket is evolving and undoubtedly the club cricket that is being played in different parts of the world is responsible for it.
These forms have given a new lease of life to cricket and presented the emerging as well as senior players with a platform to showcase their talent and achieve a breakthrough or a comeback into their national sides.
Cricket’s governing body should privatise the T20 format by letting clubs handle it while focusing on Tests and ODIs.
The ICC as the game’s global body should create a window for various leagues like IPL, BBL, CPL and so on.
At the same time, for the well-being of cricket and players, the league organisers should try to make their leagues short and sweet so that they can fit into the schedule without hampering international cricket as well.
For example, IPL that is currently a 50-day long affair should be compressed to a 30-35 day event.
I know that this statement is going to raise the eyebrows of many franchise owners but that is the only way if we wish to balance franchise as well as international cricket.
For instance, with the BBL, Cricket Australia can create a one-month window in their summer from February 15 to March 15 in which BBL can be played.
With international cricket in South Africa and New Zealand also getting over by that time, this kind of window is certainly feasible.
It’s true that cricket is a sport which is being played between two international sides and it should remain to be that way, but club cricket can’t be neglected or taken lightly.