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|Money vs. Country; the Eternal Struggle of Cricket|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Editor|
|Thursday, 30 April 2009|
With so many players in international cricket facing the quandary of choosing between playing for the national team and playing for the Indian Premier League and its riches, the question is now brought into sharp focus: What is more important for a player; the pride of representing your country, or playing for money. What has also instigated this debate is the fact of Andrew Flintoff fitting a few weeks of IPL playing in an already hectically packed schedule and getting injured in the bargain. This was seen as an unseemly chasing of riches by many in the cricket news, particularly in the UK.
The choice is difficult: on the one hand is a grueling schedule touring multiple countries in a year, playing tests, one day internationals and T20 matches playing against all kinds of oppositions and being away from family and dear ones for long stretches of time, but which has along with it the honour of representing one’s country; of being acknowledged as among the top players of the country. On the other hand is 6 weeks of T20 cricket which pays extremely well for little actual labour; which however means that the player is subject to being auctioned of like so many chattels and one is assigned to a team that one may have no attachment to at all.
It is difficult to look the other way and adopt a superior moral pose when there is at stake so much money, but then again pride and honour cannot be quantified in terms of money!
The view that national interest be enforced over personal liberties is one taken by former English skipper Nasser Hussain who thinks that the English and Wales Cricket Board should have put their foot down and said that Flintoff would not be permitted to play for the IPL in view of his injury; the way that Cricket Australia refused to let Shaun Tait participate in the IPL.
Now with the looming American Premier League there is more fear of leagues becoming ever more powerful in international cricket and further undermining its structure and the importance of national teams. There is also the fact that owning to the IPL’s grand success, its chairman Lalit Modi is desirous of having not one but two IPL seasons a year. This would make many of the established agencies of international cricket less powerful and in the end irrelevant. And then the question we have to ask ourselves is, would that be such a bad thing?
In the end it all boils down to the fact that nothing will ever equal the honour and pride of representing your country; from that will come one’s standing and name in international cricket. If individuals choose to make the other alternative, the game of cricket will be none the poorer for it.
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