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Is IPL Reason behind Poor Performance of India in T20 World Cup?

After losing 2 consecutive matches, the Indian Cricket team is almost out of the T20 World Cup tournament. First, it suffered a humiliating defeat against Pakistan and secondly got easily overpowered by New Zealand. Cricket lovers in India have heavily criticized the entire team as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI). They seem shocked to see the performance of the Indian team on the world’s stage after pulling off spectacles in IPL, India’s home-grown league.

Now even if India wins its next game against Afghanistan on Nov 3, the run rate won’t be as high and will remain in trouble till some other team loses. Afghanistan is second on the Group 2 ranking with 4 points after beating Scotland by 130 runs and Namibia by 62 runs. India has failed to score any point on the table whereas Pakistan leads group 2 with 6 points.

Is IPL Coming in The Way of India’s Victory at the World Cup?

There is more than one reason behind India’s terrible loss at the T20 World Cup 2021. Cricket critics feel that BCCI has been giving more importance to IPL which has likely affected the performance of players. They criticized the decision of organizing IPL games so close to the T20 World Cup. Many have expected the most powerful cricket board in the world to not overuse its players.

IPL’s 2021 season just ended on 15th October 2021 with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) winning its 4th title. Players were already worked up too much in the local competition and did not get much time to rest before facing Pakistan on October 24. It probably led them to be fatigued for the international tournament. If BCCI could have slowed down with the IPL and focused more on the T20 World Cup, cricketers would have been able to receive ample rest and relevant training.

Politicizing Cricket

Following India’s defeat in the first two matches of the T20 World Cup, critics argue the importance of IPL to BCCI which is leading cricketers to miss out on global opportunities. Undoubtedly, IPL is a source of immense cash flow for the Indian Board, covering reportedly 60% of its total income. Some reports have estimated that BCCI’s IPL income is nearly 40% of the total revenue cricket generates.

This financial power has given it more authority to make decisions about the game on a global level. One such display of power can be seen from the way the Indian board has isolated Pakistan. India has disallowed Pakistani cricketers to play after the first season of IPL due to political tensions arising post-2008 Mumbai attacks. Moreover, after 2013, India stopped playing bilateral series with Pakistan altogether.

Pakistan established its league in 2015 called PSL and invited foreign players to play in it. BCCI did not allow their players to play in PSL and also asked other foreign players to do the same. According to most recent reports, some internet accounts from India also sent fake security threats that led New Zealand to cancel its tour in Pakistan.

BCCI’s political move might not have been ideal in the game of cricket as many professionals suggest playing in other leagues to enhance abilities. Former captain of England Cricket Team, Michael Vaughan also mocked the Indian board for stripping their cricketers of advanced exposure.

Does BCCI Have Nothing to Show Why It is The Richest Board in the World?

Despite being the great revenue generator, IPL may not have been sufficient enough for Indian cricket in terms of building a team. All in all, it serves as a comfortable home ground for Indian cricketers to play without Pakistan.

For that, they receive a lot of money for playing in their respective franchises and earn the spotlight by being offered to work in advertisements. However, the results prove that money and glamour are not enough to win big matches. Neither does nationalistic propaganda under the protection of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). In recent years, India has pulled off many political moves in cricket as they have been doing on a global scale. A report revealed in August 2021 that BCCI was forcing the foreign players to not join Kashmir Premier League (KPL), a new cricket tournament with 5 teams from Kashmir and 1 for overseas Kashmiris.

It is not appropriate to judge any team after 2 matches but as per experts, a monstrous team like India should have regained their composure after the first loss. The Cricket audience has expressed anger at the board by calling it arrogant. BCCI is giving the impression that it is only interested in making fast money through IPL and does not care about the national team. Fans advised BCCI to step down from Cloud 9 and focus on making Indian players competitive on the international level.

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