Franchisees may have missed the broader picture: Lara

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 20:06 PM IST

New Delhi: West Indian batting legend Brian Lara is not overtly disappointed with the IPL snub but said the franchisees missed the "broader picture" by not bidding
for him in the recently held auction in Bangalore.

"I am not overtly disappointed. I understand that every franchisees have their reservations. But I think they may have missed the broader picture, because apart from my (cricketing) abilities, I bring along a lot of experience and knowledge of the game," the 41-year-old Lara said on the sidelines of a cricket clinic at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

Lara, who retired from international cricket after the 2007 World Cup, found no takers when players went under the hammer for the fourth edition of the hugely popular league.

"Almost 75 per cent of the players in every IPL team are youngsters. But don`t worry, I would still come across, maybe next year," Lara said.

The flamboyant left-hander revealed that playing the entire IPL season was not at the back of his mind.

"I really never wanted to get out there and compete for 19-20 games. Just wanted to be part of a good unit, attending meetings, training sessions and helping the youngsters," he said.

Lara aside, heavyweights such as Chris Gayle, Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting were also ignored by the Indian Premier League franchises.

"Players like Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke (not part of the league), it`s a bit strange."

Asked if he was keeping a tab on the auction, Lara answered in negative.

"Honestly, I didn`t pay much attention to IPL auction. But one thing I like about IPL is, the private ownership. That`s the way cricket can compete with a sport like football.”

"The World Cup is the biggest event in football, but it`s club football which is more popular. Look at clubs like Manchester United. Like club football, it will be good for
football if leagues like the IPL and BigBash in Australia do well," he said.

When asked about Sourav Ganguly, who too met with a similar fate, Lara said, "Missing out on IPL auction will not tarnish his image. He has done enough, and has been a great servant of Indian cricket, and has been a very good friend of mine."

PTI