By Aritra Chowdhury
Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) Former India batsman V.V.S Laxman on Wednesday termed the suspension of two Indian Premier League (IPL) teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) as unfortunate, but added nothing is bigger than cricket and the game will ultimately emerge victorious despite the controversy.
“Suspension of both the IPL teams is very unfortunate. There are lot of positives as far as IPL is concerned. No one is bigger than the game. And I think the focus is and will always be on cricket and cricket will be the ultimate winner,” Laxman told IANS in an interview here.
The Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee suspended the two IPL franchises on July 14 and banned their two team officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, respectively, for life from cricketing activities.
After the suspension, the Board of Control of for Cricket in India (BCCI) named a working group comprising Sourav Ganguly, Rajeev Shukla, Anurag Thakur and Anirudh Chaudhry to study the verdict and prepare a road map for IPL’s future.
“I am big believer the exposure that young cricketers get to share the dressing rooms with some of the legends in the game is just because of IPL. I think there are very few negative incidents in IPL, but overall I think IPL is positive for budding cricketers for the country,” he said.
“This is definitely not good for the brand IPL. But the amount of good cricket that we have seen in the last IPL, competitive cricket was seen being played.”
The 40-year-old, who teamed up with website Cricketcountry.com as a chief cricket mentor, said it is too early to say it is a setback for the young players who are part of the two franchises.
“BCCI has formed a working group which will be taking a decision. It’s too early to say and BCCI is the best body to decide over the course of the action and take this forward,” he said.
The former right-hand batsman also said BCCI should focus on hiring the best man as the coach of the India team irrespective of his nationality. for the vacant post of coach of the Indian team.
“It doesn’t matter if it is an Indian coach or overseas coach as long as we get the best candidate to do the best possible job. It’s important to get the most capable person as coach. A coach’s role is not just about strategy but to maintain a healthy team environment,” he said.
The prolific batsman identified Chandu Borde was the best Indian coach he played under. Laxman also praised the role of the team’s director Ravi Shastri but insisted the final call rests with the captain.
“One person should be in charge of the team. Ravi Shastri has done very well with the team as team director. Coach or team director is important but a captain is the leader who will guide and runs his team forward,” he said.
The Hyderabadi tipped new Test skipper Virat Kohli to excel in his new role because of his aggressive and positive mentality.
“Virat’s strength is his positive attitude and aggression. He will learn more and become more mature as a cricketer. He is someone who is keen to improve. He will do well as a Test captain.”
The former middle-order batter revealed that Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram was the most challenging bowler he faced during his playing days.
“The reason for that is he had a lot of variations, control over his bowling and could swing both the new and the old ball,” he explained.
(Aritra Chowdhury can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)