'Youngsters not hurt by defeat'

BCCI official sounds warning

 
“One of the senior players called up after the Champions Trophy (where India were knocked out in the preliminary stage) and said other players (youngsters) did not feel it (the loss as much as him). He said there was no feeling whether we win or not. There is no sadness,” said Shetty at a talk show here. Shetty, who did not reveal the name of the senior cricketer, indicated this trend was not good and needs to be looked into by the BCCI.

“These are the things we need to look at,” he said at the Legends Club meeting to celebrate the anniversary of former Test opener, the late Vijay Merchant, on Monday evening. Shetty conceded that the amount of money the younger lot is able to make through events like the Indian Premier League has made them lose focus.
“You can see the change in attitude and focus, which seems to have gone to things other than cricket. They are attracted by the different style of entertainment that is part of these events. This is worrisome,” he said.

“Some of these youngsters have become very big. Some of them feel playing in the Ranji Trophy is not as important as playing in the IPL. BCCI will have to see that they can handle these things,” Shetty added.

The BCCI functionary echoed former skipper Sunil Gavaskar’s views a few months ago that young Indian cricketers were not too concerned about wearing the India cap and seemed happy to play Twenty20 cricket.

However, the seasoned administrator felt all three formats of the game could co-exist and there did not seem to be an immediate threat to Test cricket. “I feel all these formats can co-exist if we can manage a proper balance. But we have to attract crowds for Test cricket. Staging associations need to find out ways and should not be concerned over some gate-money loss. They are all getting TV subsidies worth Rs 10-15 crore, whether they stage matches or not,” he said.

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