London: Sept 6, 2011
Former England skipper Nasser Hussain feels the highly-lucrative Indian Premier League will entice and exhaust players unless it is carefully handled by cricket boards across the world.
"I have seen IPL and I know what it means to the Indian public, they love it, British Indians love it. It's a good tournament, but it will exhaust cricketers," Hussain told ESPNcricinfo.
"There's no doubting it helped their one-day game. I think they wouldn't have been world champions if it wasn't for IPL. I think it has massively helped. But it is now going to hinder them - as we have seen here - in Test match cricket. Because you need young bowlers to be fit and raring to go, and the IPL is death for bowlers," he added.
The 43-year-old cricketer also believes that England players will be in demand for IPL after their 4-0 victory over India and the onus would be on ECB to ensure that they don't allow cricketers to play in the cash-awash twenty20 event.
"They are going to be enticed by IPL money. Come and play, come and play. All of this cricket would have been on [television] in India. [Graeme] Swann, [Stuart] Broad and [Chris] Tremlett ... they'll all be offered decent money. And they need to be looked after by the board to make sure that they don't go. So that they are ready for Test matches in the future," he said.
"We don't need the players coming straight from that exhausted. When you get a bowler, it's like gold dust. You do not just let him go. You don't just say, 'oh fine, we can lose Anderson.' Because before you know it, they're all gone. And you're left scratching your head again.
"Look at India, look at Australia. Looking after this bowling unit and keeping them together is crucial for England at the moment," he added.
Hussain also believes that the IPL would pose a big challenge for both India and England coaches in the future.
"It's going to be [Andy] Flower's biggest challenge now. All this cricket [the Test series] Flower will have to say, 'come on, we need you to be bowling in Test matches'," he said.
"It's going to be another one of [Duncan] Fletcher's biggest challenges. If India carry on with IPL, I believe it will hurt. It is now going to hinder them - as we have seen here - in Test match cricket. You need young bowlers to be fit and raring to go and the IPL is death for bowlers. It is noticeable that none of the England bowlers have played IPL," he said.
Hussain also was critical of the domestic Twenty20 tournaments on the English domestic calender and said it would exhaust the players.
"I just think they've just over-egged it, they've just over done it. I mentioned the IPL but even in England, there are far too many games for our domestic players, they are doing far too much travelling and too much cricket, they will be exhausted as well," he said.
The India-born cricketer also felt administrators should cut down on ODIs to ensure there is no overkill.
"I do believe you can cut down, specially one-day cricket. You don't need seven ODIs and a couple of T20I, have three one-dayers and three Twenty20s or something like that," he said.
"Twenty20 will sell itself, you'll have sell out crowds everywhere, all these ODIs will be sold out. But that doesn't mean you have to do it just because it's bringing in money." (PTI)