Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has weighed on the raging club vs country debate, batting for players like Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag who choose to play in the Indian Premier League despite carrying injuries.
Supporting the players’ decision to take rest after the IPL, Ganguly said, "How can you ignore IPL? The country always comes first but you cannot ignore IPL."
"Don't forget IPL is a product of BCCI," he said in Kolkata during a press conference on Friday.
"IPL would not be so successful without the likes of Tendulkars, Shane Warnes among others," he said, adding that "it's very difficult to balance as the players are humans after all."
A recent controversy has erupted in the Indian cricketing arena as number of top players like Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Dhoni himself were given rest from the West Indies tour after the long IPL season.
Besides a number of players like Gambhir and Sehwag could not go to West Indies due to injury.
The six senior players were criticised for their decision to give priority to IPL over their national duties.
Ganguly said, "But at the same time IPL is so big. It's very difficult to balance as BCCI wants all its players to take part in IPL."
He said that it is for Indian Premier League that players like Paul Valthaty and Manoj Tiwary have gained lots of popularity.
"Don't forget that it has made life for a lot of players. Only 14 players can represent the country, what happens to the fringe players who have done well in the domestic circuit? IPL has provided a platform to all of them. And more importantly, IPL has made them financially secured," he said.
"Look at Paul Valthaty, he had a tremendous success this year and he could be in Mumbai side, a team India opportunity also might be reckoning for him. It has done wonders for a lot of cricketers," he said.
Speaking on his shift from KKR to his new club Pune Warriors this season, the former Kolkata Khightr Riders captain said, "It's time to move on. After all Gautam Gambhir moved on from Delhi Daredevils to become the highest paid IPL player, so did Yusuf Pathan. That's the way it is, it demands results."
Commenting on former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s comment stating IPL is creating monster, the former KKR skipper said, "I know he is harping this for a long time. But I don't think IPL is a monster."
Speaking on the appointment of the new Indian team coach Duncan Fletcher he said, “Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a great team. I am sure Duncan Fletcher will reap the benefits of joining the side who have been so successful and have quality players. Duncan will get a lot of confidence from it."