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‘IPL fame is affecting Mumbai players': Raju Kulkarni

Updated on: 23 November,2023 07:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

As Vijay Hazare Trophy begins today, chief selector Raju Kulkarni questions the attitude of some players towards domestic tournaments; blames multi-million dollar franchise league for this casual approach

‘IPL fame is affecting Mumbai players': Raju Kulkarni

Raju Kulkarni. Pic/midday archives

Mumbai chief selector Raju Kulkarni believes the fame and money that has come from the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League is affecting the mindset of players due to which they are showcasing a different approach while playing for the city. The former India pacer wants the current generation to understand Mumbai’s rich cricketing culture as they embark on the Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign against Sikkim in Alur today.  

“There are many advantages of the IPL, but the clear drawback is that it gives them fame and money which is a lethal combination. This, in turn, affects their attitude when they go back to their state/city team on the domestic circuit,” Kulkarni, 61, told mid-day on Tuesday.

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‘Look up to Rahane’

Kulkarni felt this current crop, however, need not look too far for inspiration as they have the experienced Ajinkya Rahane as skipper. “We have an advantage with someone like Ajinkya, a legend, leading this team. We also have a very dedicated coach in Omkar Salvi. The players should not be bogged down by expectations. They should keep on giving their 100 per cent and try to embrace the old Mumbai culture and cricketing smartness to get positive results,” he added.

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Mumbai lost to Baroda by three wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarter-final at Mullanpur, Punjab, recently, and Kulkarni blamed a collective batting failure for this. The team had as many as seven IPL players in the playing XI. Yashasvi Jaiswal was Mumbai’s top run-getter in the tournament with 242 while Shivam Dube and Rahane scored 190 and 175 respectively. A young Angkrish Raghuvanshi, 18, scored 138 runs while Sarfaraz Khan and wicketkeeper-batsman Prasad Pawar could manage just 64 and 40 runs respectively.    

“Basically, we failed to post a good total, so our bowlers were always under pressure to defend it. We’re not happy about our batsmen not scoring runs and we informed them in clear terms that only their performance for Mumbai will be taken into consideration for selection, not their IPL performances,” said Kulkarni, who earlier also worked as MCA’s Cricket Improvement Committee chief.

‘Added responsibility’

“The Mumbai players, who are representing India, need to understand that they have an added responsibility. Whenever they return to the Mumbai team, they are replacing a player who is performing well, so they need to justify their place. This is what’s missing, and we have conveyed it very matter-of-factly to the players,” said Kulkarni, concluding with a straightforward message to his side: “We are a no-nonsense selection committee and will have a zero tolerance towards any player who is not performing for Mumbai. Whoever the player may be, whatever his reputation. And the Mumbai Cricket Association are totally backing us.” 

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