Over the years, Team India cricketing stalwart Virat Kohli hasn’t just transformed himself into one of the most formidable batsmen of all time, but has also been one of the most successful captains of the team. Loved by his fans and respected by the global cricketing fandom, Kohli is even a revered figure for India’s arch rivals, the Australian cricket team. In fact, once upon a time the Aussie players were ‘scared’ to sledge at the Indian captain, and as Michael Clarke reveals, the reason was Indian Premier League!
Since its inauguration in 2008, the IPL has become the world’s most popular cricket tournament, and the highly successful cash-rich league is a bulls eye for all international cricketers.
Even in case of Australia, who despite having their own KFC Big Bash League, the players would eye the IPL season each year for the big prize pool, and in former Aussie captain Michael Clarke’s words, would ‘suck up’ against swearing at Kohli or their IPL franchise teammates in any international match.
In the sports talk show ‘Big Sports Breakfast’, Clarke spoke on the powerful impact the success of IPL has been on world cricket.
“Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” the former batsman said in the show.
Clarke continued by saying that the impact for India worked in their favour: “I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India.”
The ‘suck up’ of Aussie players to try and protect their IPL contracts worked in favour of Kohli, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April. The players were like: ‘I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore, so I can make my USD 1 million for my six weeks’,” the 39 year old comically added.
Clarke’s experience in the IPL has only been limited for the 2012 season, when he debuted for Pune Warriors India, a franchise that now has been dissolved.