‘Insult to the great man’: Sunil Gavaskar slams BCCI official for alleged ‘insensitive statement’

Written by Vipin Darwade

The postponement of the Indian Premier League has started a debate on the status of the tournament in the future. The media, officials, former cricketers, and current players are all perplexed on when the cash-rich league will start and what will be the status of the foreign players. The 13th season of IPL was put on hold till April 15 by BCCI amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The league was scheduled to begin on March 29 but the government issued a travel advisory that foreign players wouldn’t be issued visas to come into the country. The tournament was ultimately postponed.

However, Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was miffed with a BCCI official for the suggestion that they did not want IPL to be like the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, which is the domestic T20 tournament of India.

“Whether the IPL will be played at all depends on how quickly the spread of COVID-19 is controlled. Till April 15 overseas players won’t get a visa so it may take a bit longer for the tournament to take off. Foreign players bring a different flavour to the tournament and add to the excitement, so it’s important to have them,” Gavaskar wrote in a column for Sportstar.

“Having said that, for a so-called top BCCI official to comment that “the BCCI has to ensure the quality of the game is not poor. We did not want a Mushtaq Ali tournament,” is an incredibly insensitive statement if indeed it is true,” the former captain added.

“Firstly, it’s insulting to the great man after whom the tournament is named and secondly begs the question that if it’s such a “poor” tournament, then why have it at all? Also, can light be shed on why the quality of the tournament is poor? Surely it’s not simply because there are no international players in it, but also because there are no Indian internationals in it! That is a scheduling issue that the BCCI has to look at.”

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Vipin Darwade