I am aware of the recent developments concerning Chris Cairns. While I am still bound by the injunction put in place by the Court in 2012, I am of course monitoring the story as it unfolds with interest. My lawyers will soon update me on matters and I will comment further when it is appropriate to do so.
@KP24: @LalitKModi created something that has made this Indian team formidable!
@KP24: They smash the likes of Steyn, Johnson, Starc etc. every week, which gives them a collective confidence to do it in international cricket..
@KP24: Playing with and against other internationals for 6 weeks a yr benefit every player...
@KP24: You are seeing a young Indian side here in which the players are being schooled every year in the IPL...
I defer to the view of the experts on cricket almost all the time. That's the reason the IPL governing council had three former India captains on it.
The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) always has had cricketers running the show for on-field matters. I have always believed cricket should be left to cricketers; administrators can manage the rest. Unlike the BCCI led by Srinivasan, I am not one to believe that I have all the knowledge.
So, when I saw a tweet by my good friend Kevin Pietersen this evening, I was thrilled. Kevin is the only one from England who had seen the vision behind the IPL and I am glad that he saw the benefits that the league has provided to the Indian team as they won the ODI series in England for the first time in 24 years.
Kevin was right, India's young players are battle hardened after six weeks of playing with and against the best in the world. They learn new tricks of playing in the shorter formats of the game. It is therefore no surprise that while England struggled to cope with the demands of the format; the Indian players reveled in it.
Sadly many in England have chosen to malign the IPL at every given opportunity. Why only England, even in India many have chosen to criticise the IPL whenever the Indian team lost. Nation comes first, India's losses hurt not just the players, but also the fans like myself. But to blame all ills on a six-week tournament is not fair. Rather I would say, is not cricket.
Look at the benefits of the IPL, as Kevin pointed out himself. India's young players are able to strike at will; they are innovative in their strokeplay and are attuned to playing the best bowlers in the world. Isn't that what you look for in limited-overs cricket?
I think experts know the answer. When India lost in the T20 World Cup in England in 2009, IPL was blamed. Then the following year when India lost again in T20 World Cup, it was because of the IPL. The Test series loss in England in 2011 and 2014 were attributed to the IPL. The losses in Australia were because of the IPL.
But pray tell me why is the World Cup win in 2011 not because of the IPL, why is the Champions Trophy win in 2013 not because of the league? Well, because it is convenient to ignore the gains of the IPL when it suits people.
India needs to be proud of its first homegrown world-class league. I would say IPL is the best product to have come out of India in the last decade. Players earn lucrative salaries, those working on the IPL make decent money and most of all the game gets to spend a lot more on the grassroots than ever before because of the same league.
Why is it bad then? Well, maybe because some are making the money through hard work, while others are not. I am sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi will certainly be proud of the IPL, because it certainly fits into his Made in India vision and mantra.
Before I forget, huge congratulations to the Indian side for winning the ODI series in England. It was truly a Made in India win, which has gladdened the hearts of all of us proud Indians here in England.
I am a firm believer India's acche din both as a country and in cricket is around the corner. Have faith, good things will happen certainly.