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    May 27, 2009

    What motivates them to play in the IPL?

    Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Ganguly, Kumble and Hayden have all retired, from all international and domestic cricket, in the last 2.5 years.

    Yet, they all played in the IPL, both this season and the last.

    What motivates them to play in the tournament? Is it the competitive urge? Is it the curiosity to find out if they're still good enough to compete with other current players? Is it the money? Did they retire because they were tired of living out of suitcases for nearly 9 months a year? Is it the will to try and master a relatively unfamiliar form of the game? Is it to pass on their decades of cricketing wisdom on to youngsters who'd be in awe of sharing the same dressing room with them?

    If it is the competitive urge, why did they retire in the first place? Were they "pushed"? So maybe its a way of cocking a snoop at the selectors or team management.

    Again, if it is about wanting to find out if they're still good enough, what's the big deal? They've excelled in their field over the past 10-15 years. So it is plain and obvious that even 1-2 years after retiring, they'd be much better than the average player at the IPL, perhaps even in the 80th percentile (i.e. in the top 20% of the players at the IPL). So why even try checking?

    Is it about mastering T20 and learning "new tricks"? Quite possibly so, given that between all of them, they've played 24 T20 internationals and coincidentally, only the Aussies in that list (Hayden - 13, Gilchrist - 9 and McGrath - 2) have played T20 internationals.

    Of the lot, it is fair to say that Gilchrist, Hayden, Warne and Kumble (perhaps in that order) have achieved the most in this format with McGrath having a great run last year but strangely not featuring in the playing XI at all this year while Ganguly has had two horrible tournaments barring 2-3 good knocks. Hayden and Gilchrist were the top run-scorers this season while Gilchrist was at #6 last time. Warne was the 2nd highest wicket-taker last time and slipped to #10 this time. Kumble had 2 of the 4 best bowling performances this time even as he got within 2 wickets of the purple cap. McGrath was in the top 10 wicket-takers last time. Ganguly had 2 entries in the top 11 innings scores last time around.

    Is it about passing on their gyaan? Again, quite possibly so. I'm sure these chaps are nice enough to try and motivate their teammates through their attitude to preparation, their winning spirit, their focus, etc. Then again, barriers are bound to crop up in a team which has players from multiple countries/cultures. So not all the youngsters would be able to/keen to absorb the gyaan.

    Were they sick and tired of being part of the tours & tournaments circus for the best part of 10+ years? Quite possible, because they would have felt the need to give more time to their families and the IPL is just a month-long tournament.

    Is it about the money? Most certainly so. The money is huge, and even though McGrath would have been disappointed at not featuring in the playing XI, he earned quite a lot (he was "bought" last year for USD 350,000). None of these players would actually be in a situation where they desperately need money, but hey, who's going to be stupid enough to say no?!

    As a parting note, Ganesh pointed me to 53-year old Shirley-Ann Bonaparte. What prompts her to play on, 30 years after she last turned out for West Indies' women's team, now representing the USA women's team?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:23 PM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    It is money to start with - but I am sure the competitive spirit takes over when tournament starts.

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    By Anonymous jake (30-May-2009, 11:01:00 PM)  

    I believe it's about earning money more than anything else. The veteran players like the ones you mentioned, are definitely in for money there. And, for the newcomers, tournaments like IPL offer fair chances to them to show off their cricket skills. The players who have proved great in Cricket T20 get bright chances to enter national teams for one day internationals as well, too.

    By Anonymous Cricket T20 (01-Jun-2009, 7:10:00 PM)  

    I'm sure the money is a factor. You'd be stupid to, like I said, turn it down. But really speaking, these guys have earned their share during their playing days. This is a "bonus".

    By Blogger Jagadish (02-Jun-2009, 11:45:00 AM)  

    Well, let's take the whole group: Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Ganguly, Kumble and Hayden

    Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist retired from the game because they didn't have any further ambitions in international cricket. Winning the Ashes, winning another ODI World Cup. Kumble was in very poor form and the writing was on the wall, so he retired before he could be dropped. Hayden was dropped and there was little hope he could come back. Ganguly fell somewhere between the two.

    Twenty20 is a new game. All these cricketers would have liked to try their hand at a new challenge.

    By Anonymous Krish (27-Jun-2009, 12:43:00 AM)  

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