Johannesburg: The glitz and glamour of the IPL had such a distracting effect on Indian cricketers in its inaugural season that they were simply “awful and spineless” in a Test loss to South Africa in 2008, former Proteas coach Mickey Arthur has said.
Arthur said the Indian cricketers’ preoccupation with IPL photo shoots and public relations exercises resulted in South Africa scoring an unprecedented win under three days against the home side in a Test in Ahmedabad.
“The Indians were awful, and all the talk about their minds being elsewhere was obviously true. They were spineless and distracted,” Arthur wrote in his book ‘Taking the Mickey’, released here on Monday.
“The second Test must rank among the most perfect ever played by a South African team,” Arthur wrote.
“To win inside three days, in India, is almost unprecedented, but the way we did was extraordinary. There had been so much media hype around the impending first season of the IPL and it was dominating column inches in most newspapers.”
Arthur said the IPL’s off-field engagements took a lot of players’ time.
“There had also been a lot of negative reporting about the fact that many of the Indian superstars had been required to do photo shoots and other PR engagements for their IPL franchises in between the first and second Tests rather than concentrating on preparing for the Ahmedabad fixture. The irony of India being bowled out in exactly 20 overs, before lunch, on the first day, was lost on nobody.”
Arthur also said that the absence of iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar due to injury in that game also had an effect on the Indians’ “spineless” performance.
“That might have been understandable from some of the junior players, but not the seniors, who were already millionaires. It was significant to me that Sachin Tendulkar was missing, due to injury. I don’t think some of the batsmen would have played the way they did in his presence. To be bowled out for 76 was pathetic.”