Sunil Gavaskar warned England and Australia not to “interfere” in Indian cricket’s events and asked them to “look after their interest.”. He blasted the “old powers” England and Australia for accusing the IPL of upsetting the international cricket schedule. After some IPL franchise owners purchased clubs in the future T20 competitions in South Africa and the UAE, which are anticipated to conflict with the schedules of Australia’s Big Bash League and England’s The Hundred, the criticism of the IPL began to gather traction. Gavaskar cautioned England and Australia to “look after their interest” and forbade them from “interfering” with Indian cricket’s operations.
The Indian legend’s sentiments follow those of former Australian wicket keeper-batter Adam Gilchrist, who bemoaned the IPL’s growing prominence on the world stage. Gilchrist, who was worried about the IPL’s growing monopoly, had described the cash-rich league’s global growth as “a little bit scary.”
Gavaskar cleared the air around criticism of IPL in his column on Sportstar. He said, “It’s been amusing to read that the Indian Premier League is once again seen as a disruptor of the cricketing calendar of other international teams. The moment the news about the South African T20 league and the UAE T20 league came out, the ‘old powers’ started squirming and got their apologists to have a go at the IPL. By all means, look after your cricket interests but hey, please don’t interfere in ours and tell us what to do.”
The former Indian captain argued that despite the Big Bash League’s own window free from international cricket, the Australian and English boards are concerned about losing some of their top players to the South African and UAE’s ILT20 league, which starts around the same time and offers players much more attractive contracts.
Gavaskar added, “ The Australians, too, have scheduled their Big Bash when their contracted players will be available to play. But it’s worrying them that the UAE and the South African T20 leagues are scheduled around the same time, and there’s the danger of some of their players opting to play there instead of the Big Bash.”
He further tried to explain the hypocrisy around this ongoing criticism of IPL. He emphasized how, in the past, Indian teams weren’t frequently invited, but the situation changed after cricket became more popular in India.
“Remember the times when India as a team was not attractive as far as gate money was concerned. The Indian teams would have a gap of years between tours to the ‘old powers’ shores. The first Indian team toured Australia in 1947/8. Guess when was the next time the Indian team went there? It was 1967/8. Yes, sir, a good 20 years between the two tours. “
“Now these same old powers want India to come to their shores every year because they have understood that the Indian team brings in more moolah than even when they play against each other, he remarked.”