The IPL which kicked off within a week of the ICC World Cup has once again triggered off the standard country v club debate. Sri Lanka has issued a firman to all its players to report for training camps on the 5th of May. Duleep Mendis says:

“The first half of the English summer is not going to be easy and we want the players to report for training and to concentrate on getting used to the change of playing white balls to red.”

I suppose Murali would be the only Lankan staying back but we may just see Lasith Malinga get injured around the 3rd/4th May and then recover just in time for the last few games for MI.

Moving across the world to the Caribbean, Sir Viv Richards in a BBC interview once spoke of the pride of playing for the West Indies.

When we first started, it was just the fact and pride of wearing that maroon cap and blazer. All of the older players wanted to simply achieve those goals.

To me, that was of vital importance. If you can deliver the goods while dressed in that gear, then whatever monetary gains you achieve are due to you – but at least you will have done the crawling stage before you can walk.

A couple of days back, WI announced their team for the home series against Pakistan.

Kieron Pollard will miss the five-match series to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, while Bravo, who, like Pollard, had opted out of a retainer contract with the West Indies Cricket Board, will skip the two-match Test series that follows the ODIs to join Chennai Super Kings.

[…]

“It was mutually determined that Pollard would be best served by being allowed to hone his T20 skills in the Indian Premier League, which will bring future benefit to West Indies cricket,” the release stated. “He will not play in the series against Pakistan, but remains committed to West Indies cricket and will be available for future selection to the West Indies team in all formats.”

About Bravo, the release said: “Dwayne Bravo, who is also contracted to an IPL franchise, will play in the one-day series against Pakistan but will miss the two Tests in order to participate in the IPL. Like Pollard, Bravo also remains committed to West Indies cricket and will be available for future selection to the West Indies team in all formats.”

It is no shame to choose club over country. Well, West Indies is not strictly “a country”.  And there is much more money to be made outside the Caribbean. But I wonder whether the last line “committed to West Indies cricket” needs to be taken with any degree of seriousness.

When we first started, it was just the fact and pride of wearing that maroon cap and blazer. All of the older players wanted to simply achieve those goals.

To me, that was of vital importance. If you can deliver the goods while dressed in that gear, then whatever monetary gains you achieve are due to you – but at least you will have done the crawling stage before you can walk.

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