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Sunil Gavaskar wants India’s ‘rest’ to be history

Senior cricketers draw former captain's ire for skipping international series while playing the IPL without a break
Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar
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Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 13.07.22, 03:09 AM

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has stirred a hornet’s nest by criticising senior India cricketers for skipping international series while playing the IPL without a break.

Gavaskar’s remarks came after senior players Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant were rested for the upcoming ODI series against the West Indies.


This practice, of late, has turned out to be a regular feature in Indian cricket with the stars taking breaks citing too much cricket.

“See, I do not agree with this concept of players resting. Not at all. You don’t take rest during IPL, then why ask for it while playing for India? I don’t agree with it. You will have to play for India. Don’t talk about rest,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.

“There are only 20 overs in an innings in T20. That does not take any toll on your body. In Test matches, the mind and the body take a toll, I get that. But I don’t think there is much problem in T20 cricket,” he added.

The legendary opener said the BCCI will be better off intervening into this “rest policy”.

“I honestly feel that the BCCI needs to look into this concept of rest. All the Grade A cricketers have received very good contracts. They receive payment for every match. Tell me if there is any company whose CEO or MD gets so much time off?

“I feel that if Indian cricket is to become more professional, a line needs to be drawn. If you want to be rested, you need to reduce your guarantees. “Then you take rest, because you don’t want to play. But how can anyone say that I don’t want to play for the Indian team? That is why I do not agree to the concept,” Gavaskar said.

The BCCI also cannot escape the blame having never tried to refrain the players from taking such breaks. While there is no problem with the players taking a break for injuries, stars like Kohli, Rohit and Bumrah had recently skipped the five-match T20 home series against South Africa after the IPL.

The BCCI has indirectly encouraged the players to take such breaks citing nonstop cricket and the bio-bubble which has become a regular feature in the international circuit post-Covid.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in a recent interview to The Telegraph, however, didn’t agree that they were promoting T20 cricket at the cost of Tests.

“No, we don’t. I don’t agree... I think there are very few countries and I must say India, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan really look after Test cricket... It’s not going to happen in India for sure. Nothing can match the pride playing for your country,” the BCCI president said.

But Sourav also hinted that he didn’t like the idea of players skipping series. “I played for India for 13 years without a break... I hadn’t missed anything, not a series or tour. I hadn’t taken any rest like a lot of the players do now.”

The tour of the West Indies will also comprise five T20Is. Shikhar Dhawan was named captain for the three ODIs against the West Indies in the absence of regular skipper Rohit.

After the ODIs, India will play five T20Is. This will be India’s last ODI series before the World Cup. 

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