"IPL The Cash Cow For Other Formats To Survive": Ravi Shastri To NDTV
Former Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri said the Indian Premier League holds tremendous importance for the overall health of the sport in India, in an interview to NDTV on Sunday.
- Ravi Shastri defended the IPL in an interview to NDTV
- The former India coach also said international players deserve breaks
- Shastri lauded Virat Kohli for speaking up for Mohammed Shami
Former Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri said the Indian Premier League (IPL) holds tremendous importance for the overall health of the sport in India, in an interview to NDTV on Sunday. Speaking about the T20 franchise league, Shastri said, "I think the IPL is extremely important. I don't care what people think. IPL is the cash cow for your other formats to survive. You have got to get that in place and then earn the bucks, get it into the coffers and then spread it around to different formats of the game, at grassroots level, at domestic cricket level, to keep the game alive."
Shastri also commented on India's packed international schedule and Virat Kohli taking a break from the T20I series and the opening Test against New Zealand.
"In these times of Covid, which is unprecedented since the Second World War, I don't think one individual can be on the road for the amount of time the Indian team is on the road. I think you need to be able to take a break. Not just Virat, everyone in the team at some time will need a break because they are humans," he elaborated.
Clarifying that Kohli's decision to quit the India T20I captaincy was of his own volition, Shastri said, "It's his own choice. There's no one giving him a nudge. And he needs a break. I think he will come out twice the player after this break. When you are mentally fried up for two years, like these guys have been in the last 24 months -- they have been in a bio bubble for the last six months -- you need a break."
Shastri's term as India head coach came to an end with the T20 World Cup. Speaking about his exit from the Team India set-up, Shastri said, "You should know when your sell-by date is up. Seven years is a long time to be sitting there and being judged with guns pointed at my direction. If I was 10 years younger, maybe I would have done it (for) two years longer. But the time is up and my mind was very clear in England itself that once this term is over, I will go, irrespective of what happens in the T20 World Cup."
Asked about India's underwhelming T20 World Cup campaign, Shastri said, "I don't give excuses. We weren't up to scratch. Pakistan was a good game; they played better than us, they beat us. (Against) New Zealand, we could have shown a little more daring, little more spunk and got out there a little more aggressive in our mindsets and action-wise."
'Shami being singled out ridiculous'
On India pacer Mohammed Shami being targeted by trolls on social media following the team's loss to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, Shastri said, "I heard about it later and that was ridiculous. Mohammed Shami, for me, has been champion. He has been one of the real integral part of this team over the last five years. If we have won anything overseas, we have won in India, Shami, with Ishant (Sharma), Jasprit (Bumrah), Umesh (Yadav), they have been absolutely fabulous.
"And to single one guy out for a game, it's like someone saying that Pakistan lost the semi-final because someone dropped a catch, which is ridiculous."
He also lauded Kohli for speaking up for Shami in a press conference during the tournament. "I thought Virat was brilliant in that press conference when he stood up for Shami and spoke the way he did. Hats off to him!"