Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has ripped into the Indian cricket board over one of its official’s remark of not reducing the Indian Premier League to ‘a Mushtaq Ali trophy.’
Gavaskar said that the comment, published in a Mumbai Mirror report over the postponement of IPL 2020, was extremely insulting to the great Indian cricketer.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy is the domestic T20 competition played during the season and was scheduled in 2019 such that players from all the states got a chance to showcase their skills before the IPL auction.
Gavaskar admitted that presence of foreign stars added a different flavour to the IPL but insisted that a mere absence of overseas players wasn’t the reason behind the lack of interest in Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.
“For a so-called top BCCI official to comment that “the BCCI has to ensure the quality of the game is not poor. We did not want a Mushtaq Ali tournament,” is an incredibly insensitive statement if indeed it is true,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for magazine Sportstar.
The comment was allegedly made by an unnamed BCCI official when asked whether the IPL could be played without any overseas players in the wake of the Indian government restricting entry of foreign nationals till April 15.
“Firstly, it’s insulting to the great man after whom the tournament is named and secondly begs the question that if it’s such a “poor” tournament, then why have it at all? Also, can light be shed on why the quality of the tournament is poor? Surely it’s not simply because there are no international players in it, but also because there are no Indian internationals in it! That is a scheduling issue that the BCCI has to look at,” he added.
Gavaskar also blamed the BCCI officials for not giving enough thought before preparing the domestic and international calendar, highlighting the example of the just concluded Ranji Trophy season.
“This year’s domestic schedule has to be amongst the most thoughtless ones in recent memory. The Ranji Trophy was marginalised not only by the international season where India players couldn’t play for their state teams, but also by the scheduling of an India A tour to New Zealand bang in the middle of the Ranji season which deprived some states of the cream of their talent,” he wrote.
Saurashtra beat Bengal in the final in Rajkot where Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha featured for their respective sides but Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami had to miss out because of workload management.