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Is IPL non-serious? Ravichandran Ashwin claims cricket ‘takes a backseat’ in the cash-rich league

Is IPL non-serious? Ravichandran Ashwin claims cricket ‘takes a backseat’ in the cash-rich league

After playing in the league since 2009 and representing five different franchises, Ashwin knows the ins and outs of the IPL. 

The Indian Premier League (IPL) isn’t just a cricket tournament. It is one of the biggest entertainment events in India. So when Ravichandran Ashwin says that ‘sport takes a backstage’ during the event, no one really bats an eye. The competition pits brothers, teammates, and childhood friends against each other, while fans go crazy for electric matches and moments.

“Sometimes I wonder if IPL is even cricket because sport takes a backseat. It’s so huge. We do end up practicing for advertisement shoots and sets! That’s where the IPL has gotten to,” said Ashwin on the Club Prairie Fire podcast.

On the growth of the league and being skeptical about its success in the initial years, he said:

“As a youngster coming into the IPL, I was only looking to learn from the big stars; I did not think about how the IPL would look 10 years down the line. I can say that having been in the IPL for so many seasons, the IPL is huge.”

“No one envisaged the kind of growth that the IPL has had. I still remember a conversation I had with Scott Styris when we were both at CSK. He told me that when he was playing for the Deccan Chargers in the initial seasons of the IPL, he did not think the IPL would last for more than two to three years.”

Ravichandran Ashwin on the ‘beauty’ of the IPL

The Rajasthan Royals players also highlight how the tournament isn’t just won at the IPL auction table and that teams have adapted to the ever-changing T20 format and have found different methods to succeed. He said:

“Look, over the years, you’d think that the IPL is one tournament that is largely won at the auctions. I believe the auctions are a very important facet of this league, but the beauty of the IPL is that franchises have evolved into getting their teams right. There’s no one way to skin a cat. No one player is bigger than the team. No one slot is bigger than the others. The teams invest wisely.” 

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