Since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been at odds with the Future Tour Program (FTP) of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Both have clashed and disturbed each other on many occasions. Why it is so? Because there is no place
of the league tournament in the future plans of the world cricket governing body.
While devising the FTPs, the ICC just keeps in mind the bilateral series and multilateral tournaments. The domestic cricket leagues, tournament and schedule is not taken into consideration. As a result, the controversies arise among the players, cricket
boards and domestic clubs.
The players who sign with the clubs are unable to comply with their international commitments. The national cricket boards resort to take legal actions against the players. The cancellation of the central contracts and deductions in players’ fees often come
in sight. On some occasions, the players come up to sue their boards.
When thus type of situations arises, the national pride come at stake, the players’ careers are prone to collapse and the game is likely to loses its charm and value.
The club and country debate is not a new phenomenon. It has been in the air since long but the IPL has added more fuel to fire.
Based n the footprints of the English County Cricket, the IPL features players from all the cricket playing nations. The players are purchased with an open auction. As most of the league franchises are owned by either enterpreneuers or the Bollywood stars,
the players are offered lucrative contracts with huge amounts of money.
As the money factor is equally important in the life of every individual, the players are to put their national and international commitments on back burner and join the league tournament. Some players are of the view that there 15 to 20 year career with
their national team cannot pay them as much as an IPL season can offer.
During the last IPL tournament, two controversies sprouted—-one was related to Sri Lanka and other pertained to West Indies.
As you know, some key Sri Lankan players were playing for the different IPL teams and a few of them were even captaining their sides like Mahela Jayawardene led Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Kumar Sangakkara headed Deccan Chargers. The other prominent Lankan
figures included pacer Lasith Malinga, spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
As per the FTP of the ICC, Sri Lanka was set to play a series against England at the month of May. The Lankan cricket board had commanded its players to pull out of the IPL tournament and join their national squad, but the players, who had received heavy
remunerations from the league managers, could not give in their duties in the midst of the marathon. Thus a controversy took place between the players and their board.
In another incident, the Windies top-ranked batsman, Chris Gayle, signed with the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the consent of his national cricket board at the time when his home team wss facing Pakistan in a bilateral series. This issue also produce
enormous controversy between club and country.
The only reason for all these mishaps is ICC’s inability to fit the domestic cricket schedule in the FTPs. Some analysts suggest that in order to fix this problem, the ICC must create a window for the IPL tournament in the FTPs of every year. During the
league tournament, there must be held no international series and tournament so that the players may be able to earn their livelihoods as well as fulfill their national commitments.
This move will not only eradicate the controversies but also improve the standards of both the IPL and the international cricket.