After Clarke’s brilliant triple hundred in the Sydney Test against India last January, the Australian media didn’t lose out on an opportunity to stress how Clarke has done well to stay away from IPL riches all these years and concentrate on batting for his country.
Although Clarke said that he would like to take part in the T20 extravaganza some day, the media Down Under was hell bent on portraying to the rest of the cricketing world, especially India, as to how their country’s captain wore a temptation-proof cloak.
Clarke is no villain for accepting the offer from Pune Warriors to be their replacement for the cancer-stricken Yuvraj Singh. But the Australian media now look foolish. However, this will not stop them from continuing to slam the IPL — Aussie players, coaches, physios, television commentators earning big bucks from the tournament notwithstanding. It must be pointed out that Clarke does not play Twenty20 cricket for Australia.
Despite its ills, the IPL is a well-conceptualised and organised tournament, which the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s rivals in the game must accept. The tournament needs to be put in perspective — it is neither downright junk nor absolutely pure.
By the way, Cricket Australia T20 Big Bash appears to be inspired by the IPL module and the tournament has been well accepted by their cricketing public.
Clarke, despite his late arrival due to the West Indies tour, will be a valuable player for Pune Warriors led by Sourav Ganguly. The Indian spectators will enjoy his strokeplay and his part-time left-arm spin could prove to be tricky for the willow wielders.