IPL contracts lessen pain of non-selection for one's country: Former Oz cricketer Berry

Sydney: Former Australian cricketer Darren Berry has said that the astronomical deals offered to cricketers in lucrative Twenty20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) is reducing a player’s pain of not getting selected in the national squad.

He feels nowadays players don’t mind getting dropped from their national squad if they have secured a hugely profitable IPL contract. “Make no mistake, the Indian market known as the Indian Premier League is first and foremost in many players`` thoughts. Not many will admit it, but winning an IPL contract is just as important in many youthful eyes as the once more-cherished baggy green,” Berry wrote in his column for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It pains me to write such words but I have witnessed it firsthand. No one will openly admit it but it`s absolutely true in many cases,” he said. Berry cited Cameron White’s example to show that capturing an IPL contract is as important and luring for some Oz players, as it is to grab a baggy green. “Victorian captain Cameron White is another interesting case for the opposite reason. After a disastrous season with the bat, White has gone from national Twenty20 captain and one-day player to struggling to hold his place with the Bushrangers,” Berry said. “What a bonus for White! He will earn 1.1 million dollars for six weeks` work in India as opposed to representing his country in the Caribbean, which is still his main priority.

But it`s not that distressing, because he will earn 10 times what he would earn on the Caribbean tour. It`s a disturbing fact that the astronomical deals offered in the IPL somewhat lessen the pain of non-selection for one`s country,” he added. Berry stressed that Twenty20 is an interesting format of the game but the huge money being offered in tournaments like IPL can spoil the new generation of cricketers. “Twenty20 is a great game and has its place in world cricket, but the huge dollars on offer in India have changed the priorities of many players,” he said. “It`s a disturbing trend for the next generation who will be born into this culture that has evolved in the past few years,” he added.