New Delhi: Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi on Thursday revealed why he can never be a fan of the Twenty20 extravaganza. Bedi said that he has told youngsters at various clubs and academies: "Look, don't fall for this trap. [The] Indian Premier League is a trap to make you go astray. Players like Rahul Dravid, Adam Gilchrist have finished with the game. Michael Clarke does not want to play T20 cricket for Australia; Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to play T20s for India. This is just an outing for them to have some fun and in the process, make a quick buck. Youngsters should not take it as a role model activity, but unfortunately, they will.
Kids will feel, 'if these fellows can do it, why can't we?' Human tendency is to follow a negative trend. If you tell them to listen to some wisdom, they will not have the time for that. 'Oh, this man has gone bonkers,' they will say. But this is how the cookie crumbles. I am very apprehensive.
People who are raving about IPL are mad. They are raving about IPL because of the money. This nonsense is all about money, money and more money. The base of the entire IPL is very, very fragile. It is a business proposition and any business must have the base of 'principles first, profits afterwards'. But, here, there are no principles, only profits and that too, only for the players and BCCI.
None of the franchises have disclosed that they are making money. They are not! Everybody is losing money, so how is it that they are carrying on? It doesn't make any sense."
(When told about the positives like fast-scoring, big-hitting, fielding, running between wickets ...) "Fast scoring? You mean to say there was no fast scoring in the World Cup? Dhoni's six to win the World Cup final was a big hit. Forget T20 cricket for a while, the overall advantage of modern cricket is that physical fitness has improved enormously. Agreed. But that has to do with the game.
Okay, there is big-hitting. But, how many big-hitters? Only Chris Gayle or from the Indian side, there is Virender Sehwag. Who among the youngsters? Nobody! Who among the bowlers are setting Indian cricket on fire? Nobody! So how can people say it has provided positive aspects for Indian cricket? No, it hasn't!
Martin Crowe opened with a spinner (Dipak Patel) way back in 1992. This was just an innovation and it clicked. Now, if they start off with a spinner, it is done with a clear intention of hiding a bowler -- not to expose him in the middle overs."
"Foreigners are running away with the cake. Far too many of them ... players, coaches, physios, trainers, umpires, referees and commentators. When the East India Company came to India, they came here to do business and established an empire.
In this case, we are giving everything to the foreigners on a platter, be it from Australia, England or South Africa.
I am very clear: This money laundering business should be investigated. I have not come across anybody in Delhi (where Bedi resides) ... not even one person, who said, 'I've bought a ticket and I'm going to watch a game.' And you hear of tickets being sold out. Sold out from whom? There are all complimentaries running around. I cannot imagine people buying tickets for this kind of nonsense.
I fear for the younger generation because they will get very restless and impatient to apply their minds to the bigger and longer lasting skills of the game. I am very concerned and I am very upset that some of our so-called administrators and cricket greats are not bothered about this aspect."