In the aftermath of the disastrous show by Indian cricketers at the ICC T20 World Cup, former India captain Kapil Dev has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to plan the schedule of Indian cricket better. He said there were players who prioritised Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments over playing for the senior national team.
Kapil Dev said India players should have had a break after the second leg of IPL 2021 before they headed to the T20 World Cup but he stressed that players should be putting the country over franchises.
Team BCCI, as cricket fans are calling the playing eleven since their ignominious rout last week, suffered an early exit from T20 World Cup on failing to make the knockout stages of an ICC tournament for the first time since 2012.
The taunt “Team BCCI” refers to the fact that the board is not a government agency or department of the Union Ministry of Sports but a society (NGO) registered in Chennai.
India will take on Namibia in their final Super 12 match on 8 November, but it is a dead rubber as Pakistan and New Zealand have already qualified for the final four from Group 2.
While several players, including Jasprit Bumrah, highlighted mental fatigue for players after having been on the road for close to six months, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun on 7 November said the workload could have had a toll on the players.
“When players prioritise IPL over playing for the country, what can we say? Players should take pride in playing for their nation. I don’t know their financial conditions; so can’t say much,” Kapil Dev said.
“But I feel that first in line should be the country’s team and then franchises. I’m not saying do not play cricket there (IPL), but the responsibility is now on the BCCI to plan its cricket better. To not repeat mistakes we committed in this tournament is the biggest learning for us,” he said.
However, Kapil pointed out that all is not lost after India’s World Cup exit and the BCCI should begin the planning to groom players for the upcoming major tournaments.
“It’s time to look at the future. You should start planning right away. It’s not that since the (T20) World Cup is over, the Indian team’s entire cricket is too. Go and plan. I just feel that there should have been some gap between IPL and the World Cup. But this is certainly there that our players today have a lot of exposure but they could not make the most of it,” he said.
Bowling coach Bharat Arun, whose tenure ends after Monday’s Super 12 match, said a short break between the IPL and the T20 World Cup would have helped the players.