Not everyone should go back into the IPL auction, feels Harsha Bhogle

Ace commentator and cricket expert Harsha Bhogle, who last month made news after his Indian Premier League (IPL) commentary contract was terminated days ahead of the commencement of season 9, never shies away from speaking his heart out. An avid IPL fan by his own admission, Bhogle has suggested that not every cricketer should go back into the IPL auction through his recent column in Indian Express. ALSO READ: Time to mute TV sets!

Bhogle wrote that like there are few pairs in this world which look great only when together, certain players in IPL also look best with the franchise they are with. It is only obvious to think of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) when you talk about Virat Kohli and vice versa and it will be really difficult to imagine Kohli playing for someone else.

He wrote: “Lionel Messi is Barcelona, occasionally Argentina (and that is a sore point!) but his club identity is far more powerful. Cricket is peculiar in that it is still a nation vs nation sport but as the RCB fans showed this year, club vs club is now far bigger than some country vs country contests. Kohli will always be Kohli of India as AB de Villiers will always be AB of South Africa, but for eight weeks in a year, that takes second place.” ALSO READ: Harsha Bhogle touched by the support that poured in after IPL commentary contract termination.

He further justified his point: “It is now impossible to imagine Kohli as being anything but Kohli of RCB. Just as it was almost traumatic for the fans in Chennai to see their own MSD wearing anything other than yellow. Or, for that matter to see Ashwin or Raina wearing anything else. These associations are at the heart of all franchise driven sport and it is critical that the IPL keeps that in mind going ahead. Marquee players cannot be changing sides too often and constant auctioning of players reduces the bond between player and fan.” ALSO READ: Harsha Bhogle hits back at NDTV; calls for the media house to practice responsible journalism.

Bhogle made this point as there is just a year before IPL contracts come to an end. He hoped that the rules get changed and the teams are allowed to retain sum crucial players. He also made another point in support of his argument when he wrote that the teams must be allowed to develop players and stay with them for much longer. “Mumbai Indians made a great scouting with Krunal Pandya and they must be allowed to reap the benefits of that search. KKR have invested in Kuldeep Yadav and that cannot become a return for someone else”, wrote Bhogle.

The eloquent personality ended his column with his IPL 9 highlight. “Kohli will be the player of the tournament and RCB the team of the tournament (as distinct from the team that wins the IPL) but for me, the association of Kohli and AB with RCB and their relationship with the Bengaluru fans was the highlight of the tournament.”