Vinod Kambli has been guilty of playing down the wrong line as it were on several occasions when it has come to his cricketing career. He loved the good life and pundits were convinced that this caused him to end up not as successful on the cricket field as his talent suggested. But yesterday, his reported comments on the Indian Premier League made some sense.
The former left-handed batsman reckoned that the IPL would tempt cricketers to strive for quick bucks instead of looking to enjoy an enduring career in Test cricket. Sure, times have changed and one cannot expect attitudes to be constant with the passage of time, but short-term goals in all walks of life are dangerous.
Administrators are not helping the future of the traditional game by introducing Twenty20 cricket at the inter-school level. Cricket's shortest form may have a good effect on fielding and running between wickets and to an extent batting, but a young player cannot build his game around Twenty20 cricket and expect to do well in the longer version.
Players have every right to earn a decent living, but the kind of money on offer in the Indian Premier League and Champions League borders on the obnoxious and a loss in focus appears inevitable unless the mindset of the player matches the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. These are rare and precious gems. The Indian cricket board that supports the IPL and Champions League need to look closer at the critical points dished out by their former players. They could be wrong at times, but their views merit discussion and debate, instead of ridicule.
After all, in most instances, they have the game's interest at heart. Unfortunately, the men who run Indian cricket do not give that impression too often.