‘If IPL is such an important part of their lives…’ – Clive Lloyd weighs in on West Indies losing players to T20 leagues

Teja Nidamanuru hit a superb 111 from 76 balls as the Netherlands tied their World Cup 2023 Qualifiers match against West Indies at the Takashinga Sports Club in Harare on Monday, June 26.

Chasing 375, the Dutch side finished on 374/9 in the thrilling Group A encounter. In the Super Over, Logan van Beek clobbered Jason Holder for three sixes and three fours as to set West Indies 31 for victory. The former world champions managed only 8 as Van Beek starred again, claiming two wickets.

Chasing a mammoth score, Vikramjit Singh (37), Max O’Dowd (36), Wesley Barresi (27) and Bas de Leede (33) all came up with handy contributions for Netherlands. However, it was the fifth-wicket stand of 143 between Nidamanuru and skipper Scott Edwards (67 off 46) that gave the chasing side real hope of victory in the World Cup 2023 Qualifiers clash.

The brilliant stand ended when Edwards was caught and bowled by Roston Chase at the start of the 45th over. Nidamanuru’s superb innings featured 11 fours and three sixes as West Indies’ bowlers suffered under the onslaught. His fine effort ended when he mistimed a scoop off Holder.

Van Beek (28 off 14) and Aryan Dutt (16 off 9) kept the fight alive for the Netherlands till the end. However, Alzarri Joseph dismissed both of them in the last over, van Beek off the last ball, to take the game into the Super Over.

Over the years, franchise T20 cricket has grown to become a major source of money, if not the biggest, for cricketers around the world.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been the front-runner in terms of money splashed in franchise T20 cricket. Meanwhile, Australia has BBL, Pakistan has PSL, and countries like Bangladesh and South Africa have their own franchise cricket leagues.

While the IPL has amped up the entertainment quotient in cricket in addition to unearthing some hidden gems for India and other nations it has also been criticized by many for luring players away from their national duties with lucrative deals.

In countries like West Indies, some players have even prioritized franchise cricket over the country, which has increased criticism.

But legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd feels that modern-day cricketers deserve much money. Speaking to RevSportz, he said,

“I think we went to Kerry Packer because we did not know our worth. These guys now know what they are worth. But I think that if IPL is such an important part of their lives, just give them a window so that they can play IPL.”

“Yes, a window would be excellent, I think, because they are earning a good living. And do not forget, you are giving your best part, the best days of your life to this sport. So why not be paid for it?”

Using the example of NBA stars and footballers, he stated, “When Michael Jordan and all these footballers were earning millions per month, nobody said anything about it. Why cricket should be different?”

But the two-time ODI World Cup-winning captain also feels that players should also put their country ahead of franchise cricket and money shouldn’t prevent them from doing so.

“You cannot stop them from doing that. It gives them a good future. But the point is that they should not do this to the detriment of playing for their country or their nation. And we suffer because we are only five and a half million people. So if we groom twenty players and lose ten, it is like digging a hole to fill a hole. And I do not want that”, he said.

“I want our best players to play and I want them to play to their optimum. So, we must have a situation where players must want to play for their country,” he further added.

In the past West Indies have lost players like Sunil Narine and Andre Russell to franchise leagues. The pair seldom play for their country these days as they are busy in franchise leagues around the world.

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