Legendary West Indian cricketer, Brian Lara, believes that that the youngsters should always put their country first and focus on playing international cricket rather than focusing on the lucrative T20 leagues around the world.
However, he admitted that the T20 leagues across the globe are best but playing for the country should be the dream of every youngster.
The West Indies cricket is also facing the problem as their star players likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and Sunil Narine have chosen to offer their services as freelance T20 specialists and due to which they have to play with a depleted and sub-standard side.
Lara told yorkshireccc.com on Wednesday (October 16), “I think it’s great (all the T20 leagues), but in terms of preserving the importance of playing for your country, I think there’s one little issue with that – the younger players who want to concentrate on getting an IPL contract or a Big Bash contract.”
He further added on the same, “But I still believe that playing for your country must be the biggest thing. It should be the dream of every youngster. Maybe there should be a stipulation where you have to represent your country so many times before you go out ‘open market’.”
His comment came after young opener Evin Lewis turned down West Indies central contract to play in the franchise cricket like some of his illustrious team-mates.
He further said, “I know a few players where if you offered them an IPL contract tomorrow or playing for the West Indies, they are most likely going to take the IPL contract because maybe there’s more money or more excitement. That’s the only thing I feel should be stemmed, something should be done.”
Meanwhile, the legendary batsman lauded Joe Root and Virat Kohli who have managed to play all three formats for their country and are available to play franchise cricket when time allows.
Lara signed off by saying, “Getting into the leagues and making a living, I can understand that. If I was young again, I would love to be a Virat Kohli or a Joe Root where you are playing all forms of the game for your country and are available to play franchise cricket when time allows. That’s the sort of cricketer I’d want to be, not just exclusively to one. If there’s a Test Match or a one-day international for the West Indies, I‘m available. Then, in my free time, I would go to the IPL or somewhere like that. If I was playing cricket at this time that would be my modus operandi.”
By Rashmi Nanda