Praveen Kumar Urges Balance Between Money and Cricket Priorities Amidst BCCI Controversy

Praveen Kumar

Former Indian fast bowler, Praveen Kumar, has added his voice to the ongoing debate surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL) and its impact on players’ commitment to domestic and international cricket. In a recent interview with Times of India, Kumar expressed his views on the contentious issue, specifically addressing the cases of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer.

Praveen Kumar talks about Players’ priorities

Both Kishan and Iyer found themselves in the spotlight after their absence from the Ranji Trophy matches for their respective teams, despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) directive. The BCCI subsequently dropped them from the central contracts list for the 2023–24 season. Iyer’s poor performance in the Test series against England further fueled the controversy.

In his interview Praveen Kumar said, “Paisa kamao, kaun mana kar rha hai? Paisa kamane chahiye lekin aise bhi nahi hona chahiye ki aap domestic nahi khel rahe, country ko importance nahi de rahe” (Earn money, who is stopping you? But it shouldn’t be like you are not playing for the country or domestic cricket). He emphasized the need for players to strike a balance between financial gains and their commitment to representing the country and participating in domestic tournaments.

The former pacer acknowledged the allure of IPL riches but cautioned against prioritizing franchise cricket over national and domestic duties. “Mai ek mahine pehle rest kar lunga, fir IPL khel lunga. Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chodun” (I will rest for a month before the IPL and then play. This happens because mentally you are not willing to let go of that money). However, he firmly believes that players must find equilibrium. Money is essential, but not at the expense of neglecting their responsibilities to the country and the game.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer
Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer

Praveen Kumar’s words echo the sentiments of many cricket enthusiasts who value the traditional formats and the pride associated with representing the nation. While the IPL provides financial security and global exposure, it should not overshadow the significance of domestic cricket and international fixtures. As the debate continues, players like Kishan and Iyer face a delicate balancing act, where financial gains must coexist harmoniously with their commitment to the game they love.

In conclusion, Praveen Kumar’s candid remarks serve as a reminder to aspiring cricketers: chase the money, but never lose sight of the honour and duty that come with wearing the national colours. The BCCI’s decision to exclude Kishan and Iyer from the central contracts list underscores the need for players to make thoughtful choices that benefit both their careers and the nation’s cricketing legacy

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