New Delhi: Yes, the Indian Premier League is now officially bigger than any national event, tour or team. You can play for your league as much as you want without a hoot to all those who (used to?) talk of nation before self.
In a major let-off for the Sri Lankan players, their board decided to give in and let them continue their IPL stints instead of returning home and beginning their preparations for national duty. (edit: Tillakaratne in England by May 11; Sangakkara and Jayawardena to follow). What preparations were they even talking of? They made it to the final of the 50-over World Cup didn't they? What can be better, except probably winning the cup itself like MS Dhoni's men?
Speaking of MS Dhoni, he is exhausted. More than a month of the apex 50-over tournament and he has stamped his claim as the most successful Indian captain. He can now skip any tour- West Indies, England- and may not be questioned. Heck, he can even get away with murder or playing in the IPL though citing exhaustion when asked to lead India immediately after.
Same with Sachin but to utter anything apart from holy-chants about the little master can invite death threats here, especially as the now 38-year-old maestro is carrying his World Cup form into the ah-so-important, ah-so-lucrative league. Saaachinnnn, Saaachinnn.
And then there is the man who himself considers it as a honour to be considered the player who resembles Sachin, the closest. Virender Sehwag has a nagging shoulder problem that requires urgent attention. And by urgent attention, after the May 28 final, of course. The DD's though are showing enough concern for him by moving from one loss to the other, such that their skipper may not really have to wait till then.
So as we see players preferring to stay back in their IPL teams, and a certain former captain trying to sneak in any way possible (edit: has sneaked in now), that whoever thought for even a fleeting second (me included) that the IPL sans Modi would not be lucrative enough, well thought wrong. It happens in soccer and will happen in cricket too. Bear with it you pipe-smoking, Test-propagating, nation-before-money claiming self appointed cricket pundits.