India cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin came out in the defence of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. He said that the monetary gains from the tournament serves as a form of motivation. He believes that it is wrong to call it as a villain and brand it ad Indian Cricket’s enemy.
Ashwin was apart of the Chennai Super Kings squad eight seasons on the trot. After Chennai and Rajasthan were banned for corruption allegations, he represented the Rising Pune Supergiant for two seasons. Strangely enough, CSK opted not retain him ahead of the IPL 2018 auction. Eventually, the Kings XI Punjab bought him for Rs 7.6 crore.
He said, “People tend to brand IPL as some sort of a villain to Indian cricket in a lot of ways. It depends how a cricketer address IPL. Any sort of monetary gain that IPL provides is a motivation to move ahead.”
The 31-year-old offspinner praised the T20 league’s ability to provide cricketers a chance to improve their standard of living. Ashwin continued, “It [IPL] is a massive move by the BCCI to do a tournament like this because it definitely gives a better lifestyle for the cricketer in terms of money. I am sure nothing brings confidence more than money brings to you. Upbringing of a kid matters a lot. How much it means to him to don those Indian colours and go out there and play and excel as a cricketer plays a big role. I have always looked at excellence, try and get better and win a game. When that is the motive I think money just becomes a by-product.”
Ahead of IPL 11 from April 7 onwards, Ashwin is planning to add leg spin to his arsenal. Speaking of his bowling tactics, he said, “I used to bowl good leg-breaks with my off-spin action when I was playing league cricket in Chennai. This is part of my plan going into the IPL. I am trying to build a bigger armoury. That is part of it and getting good game time and doing it under pressure is important.”
The IPL was also a double-edged sword for Ashwin, as it did more than promote youngsters to the senior squad. The league has molded wristspinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav but it has meant that Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja’s positions had to be sacrificed.