Ravichandran Ashwin slams ex-cricketers for bashing IPL 'without any reason'

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Ravichandran Ashwin slams ex-cricketers for bashing IPL 'without any reason'

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Ravichandran Ashwin slams ex-cricketers for bashing IPL 'without any reason'

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SportsCafe Desk

03/02/2022

The IPL 2022, consisting 74 matches, will begin on March 26, with the final scheduled on May 29. Ravichandran Ashwin has given a stern reply to a certain number of critics of IPL and its schedule, including former English captains Mike Atherton and David Gower for the upcoming season.

The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will start from March 26, and will run till May 29. The upcoming season consists of 74 matches as two new franchises – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans. – make their debut in the IPL. The tournament will also see the return of the group format where ten teams are divided into two groups.

Over the past few months, a certain number of former English cricketers have been critical of the IPL, especially after a humiliating Ashes series defeat in Australia, where England lost 0-4. Former English captains Mike Atherton and David Gower blamed IPL as one of the major reasons behind the side's embarrassing loss in Australia. 

Now, veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, on his YouTube channel, spoke in detail about their comments and also referred to a tweet from an English journalist who signified that IPL 2022 would take “one-sixth” of the year.

“What are the disadvantages because of this two-week earlier start when it comes to other countries? They (international sides) would have already scheduled their international calendar. For instance, we have England and Australia playing a few games against different countries during the IPL. Even Sri Lanka has few international matches during the IPL window,” Ashwin said.

"But mostly, South Africa, Australia, England, and New Zealand, schedule their international games based on IPL fixtures. This year, New Zealand are not having any international matches during the IPL.

“Lawrence Booth (English journalist) had tweeted about IPL fixtures saying it takes almost one-third (one-sixth) of the year. Even the English Premier League happens and almost has a six-month window. The players will have more gaps between matches and they will have only one or two matches per week. Of course, cricket getting to that stage will always remain a huge question mark. But IPL as a league has all the potential to take cricket into that stage for sure. And all the cricket viewers, cricket nations, stakeholders know this already,” he added.

Ashwin, 35, who will represent Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the upcoming IPL 2022, also acknowledged that a lengthy IPL might impact the international calendar but insisted that IPL has “been under the radar” despite every country having a league of its own.

“Because of this IPL window, there might be a chance that other formats of international cricket or world events might get shortened. For example, while EPL is taking place in football, there will be simultaneous leagues taking place in Italy, Spain, etc. And they will have a champions league as well. And four years once, they have a FIFA World Cup as well.

"Whereas in cricket, we have a 50-over World Cup, World Test Championship, T20 World Cup, and add to that, we need to have windows for all these leagues as well, like IPL, PSL, T10 league, CPL, BBL, etc. In England, they have Hundred-ball competition and add to that, they have a T20 Blast as well. There are so many leagues being started every year.

“IPL has been under the radar for so many years now. Suddenly, some ex-cricketers will say something bad about the IPL without any reason. Imagine the situation in 2008 or 2010. There were only 20-25 cricketers who would be in the Indian setup for representing Team India,” Ashwin explained.

Further, Ashwin talked about the positive impact of the IPL on Indian cricket. 

“Even when I started, my parents and grandparents asked me if cricket will help me financially. Only 15-20 or 25 cricketers will get opportunities in a 10-year span. But now, because of the IPL, at least 75-80 Indian cricketers are getting opportunities every year.

“It doesn't stop with the IPL alone. Players get opportunities to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and showcase their talent there as well. In addition to that, players also get opportunities in Media, coaching setup, or some other ecosystem setup that gives them opportunities. That is a massive tick for IPL,” he concluded.

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