Former India captain and member of Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi has put the onus on the player when it comes to deciding on whether to treat serious injuries immediately and thus miss the lucrative Indian Premier League or to do so at the completion of the tournament.
Reportedly, Virender Sehwag is to undergo a shoulder operation immediately after the IPL and that could rule him out of the forthcoming tours of West Indies and England.
"If Sehwag misses the tour of West Indies or England because of surgery, it is not fair to blame the IPL. These decisions are totally up to an individual. Kumar Sangakkara has clearly said that he intends to join his national side ahead of their England tour. The IPL schedule was announced several months back, and so was ICC's Future Test Programme.
"To BCCI's credit, they have clearly stated that players who intend to take a break can do so. Also, the players in the modern era know what they are doing. They know how best to manage their bodies and there is a very sound support system in place. It's wrong to jump the gun on this issue," he told MiD DAY.
Pataudi, the first Indian skipper to win a Test series abroad (in New Zealand, 1967-68) also asserted that players were under pressure from franchises to fulfill commitments.
"IPL is a massive stage, and there is pressure on players who are drawing big pay checks to fulfil franchise commitments. It's perfectly fair on a franchise owner's part to expect certain things from a player. It's like working for a multi-million dollar organisation," he told MiD DAY yesterday. "Even there, as a player, you can make choices," he added.
Pataudi said that IPL was the perfect platform for youngsters to break into the Indian team, and even for senior players to sharpen their skills ahead of tougher international assignments. "It is perfectly justified to say that youngsters will benefit more from performing in IPL than the other domestic tournaments. This is a tournament that is widely seen all over the world. A youngster from a small town could become an overnight sensation like we have seen over the last one week," he said. India will tour England this summer for a Test and one-day series. Both countries will fight for the Pataudi Trophy.