Days after cricketing legend Ian Botham called for IPL to be scrapped, former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has said it is not the T20 tournament but the Indian cricket board wielding enormous power that is detrimental to the game.
Reacting to Botham’s comments about the Indian Premier League being “too powerful” for cricket’s “long-term good”, Boycott told ‘The Telegraph’, “I don’t think it is the IPL, India are powerful and not the IPL. The IPL has been good for cricket.”
Stressing on IPL’s positive impact, Boycott said getting people to watch cricket and investing more numbers than there have been is good for the game.
“What is not good for the game is when one country has so much power that many other countries are frightened of it…all the decisions are really made by India,” he said.
However, the cricketer-turned-commentator said that it should be noted that many years ago the imperial cricket conference was run by Australia and England — they both had two votes each when the others had one.
“That was unfair too and maybe they remember that they were treated unfairly and now their top dogs, they are going to run the game. Two wrongs do not make a right though. It was not right for England and Australia to run it with two votes and it is not right for India to be so powerful. Its not the IPL it is the Indian cricket board,” he said.
Botham, last week had called for the scrapping of IPL, saying the T20 domestic event is “too powerful” for cricket’s “long-term good” and the game would be better off without the tournament.
“I’m worried about the IPL – in fact, I feel it shouldn’t be there at all as it is changing the priorities of world cricket. Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it,” Botham had said while delivering the 2014 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s last night.
Not all England players and ex-cricketers are averse to India’s domestic T20 league with Kevin Pietersen being a strong advocate of English participation in the event.
English cricketers can “forget” about the shorter format unless they embrace the IPL, Pietersen had said. He said his efforts to get his countrymen to play in the IPL have fallen on “deaf ears”.