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Stung by Team India’s failure to yet again make it to the semi-finals stage in this year’s T-20 World Cup, BCCI has taken the bold step of banning Indian players from playing in subsequent editions of IPL in hope of reviving the team’s fortunes in the shortest format of the game.
“Ever since we launched IPL in 2008 following India’s maiden World Cup triumph, the team’s form at the international level in the shortest format of the game has been in a slump. While players from other countries participating in IPL sharpen their skills and deliver for their nations, our players invariably seem to get burned out or worse, experience a slump in form thereafter. So in the interests of Indian cricket, we have decided to ban Indian players henceforth from IPL,” explained a glum faced IPL Commissioner, Rajeev Shukla.
The place of Indian players will probably be taken by Pakistani players, he disclosed. “Yes, we’ll allow Pakistanis to come in. If their T-20 skills can similarly deteriorate, then it will be the icing on the cake for Indian cricket,” he added, eyes momentarily lighting up before he resumed his mournful look.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has rejected the IPL commissioner’s overtures to invite Pakistani players. “Initially, we felt bad that Pakistanis were banned from playing in IPL. But now, in hindsight, we are grateful to the Indian board for having kept them out for the sake of Pakistani cricket. So our message to IPL commissioner is ‘hum pe ek ehsaan karne, ki ham pe koi ehsaan na karna’,” said PCB chairman Ashraff Zaka.
A few Indian cricketers have not reacted well to the news. Batting prodigy Rohit Sharma has made it clear that he has no intentions of quitting the league. “It would be very ungrateful of me to quit the league that I owe everything in my life to. I thank the people for whatever little love and support I received from them while playing for India, but I’m afraid it (representing India) can’t go on anymore,” said Sharma, who is popularly known as the Bradman of IPL. He also claimed the support of a dozen cricketers that included Ravinder Jadeja , Murali Vijay and Vinay Kumar.
Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri refused to comment on the issue citing contractual obligations.
(With inputs from special correspondent, Jagannath Ajnabi)