Dravid believes the game of cricket will benefit from an IPL window
India batting legend Rahul Dravid has announced that he believes there should be a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to allow world-class batsmen to play in both the star-studded Twenty20 tournament and have a chance to also represent their country in Test cricket.
Dravid stated that if the world’s best players were given the opportunity to play in the IPL, the longer format of the game would benefit since key players would be available for selection for the rest of the year.
Speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special, Dravid said: “The reality is the IPL is an important tournament and people do want to play it, and we are probably coming to a stage where maybe a time will come [when] there will need to be give-and-take – whether it is finding a window, or, whether making the tournament a little shorter.”
During his interview, Dravid was asked whether the IPL had a big role to play in Kevin Pietersen’s removal from the England Test squad, and his frosty relationship with his team-mates, and the batting legend said he was unsure if that had been the main cause or not.
But, Dravid noted that a decision should be made on whether there is to be a window for the IPL since the tournament would start to clash with the England schedule and the batting legend admitted that Test cricket could not stand to lose stars like Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen.
In April, Pietersen stirred up a lot of controversy amongst the England fans after he stated that the country was jealous of the successful IPL.
Just one month later, Pietersen shocked the cricketing community by announcing his retirement from limited overs cricket since he wanted to focus on his Test career.
Recently, Pietersen has expressed his desire to continue playing Twenty20 cricket for England, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) does not allow players to pick and choose which matches they feel like playing.
“There are some positives with the IPL and you have to understand that if the top players in the world want to play it and people want to watch then there is got to be some thing good about it is as well, it does effect the England season particularly, and, especially since traditionally the English season has been the same for many, many years. So it is challenging that a little bit. In time we are getting to that stage where all of us want the best players playing [Test cricket]. We all want Chris Gayle playing for West Indies whenever West Indies play a Test match. None of us want to see a situation today where a great player like Kevin misses out today for whatever reasons and I don’t want to get into that. But it is disappointing. The game is a loser when the top players don’t play Test cricket,” Dravid said.
If no IPL window were created, Dravid stated that Test cricket will see a drop in the number of viewers since the best players will not be available for selection.
“I am not sure what the solution to it is exactly but I would love to be in a situation where the best players can play the IPL as well as represent their country in Test cricket. People like Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen are fantastic for Test cricket as they are for IPL and T20 cricket. And they have a short window in which to show us their talent. At the end of the day this is the game for the fans. The best players should represent their country – it is not only about the people who come to the ground. It is also for the young boys and girls who passionately follow their country in Test cricket. It is hard and disappointing when the best players don’t turn up to play for their country,” Dravid added.