It’s rare to see Sachin Tendulkar passing judgments. So, when he does, people usually sit up and take notice.
On Sunday night, immediately after the Mumbai Indians had crashed out of the Champions League despite a two-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the maestro was in that sort of mood. The issue he took a potshot at was the upcoming IPL auctions that will see most players going back into the auction pool, and teams acquiring a completely new look.
“It’s to be about building teams, not breaking teams,” he said, making it absolutely clear what he thought of it. Elaborating on his tough stand, the Mumbai Indians skipper said a lot of effort had gone into building up the team and hence it was “tough to accept” that it wouldn’t be together any longer.
“Right from the management, owners and players, everyone has worked hard to build up this team. In the third season, we held special camps for the players. It wasn’t about cricket, we just played table tennis, swimming and other sports to know each other better and build up the team spirit. And then we realise that the team has to change, it’s tough to accept that,” said Tendulkar.
He didn’t sound too much convinced with the retention formula either that allows a team to retain four players, with a maximum of three Indian players.
“It’s not my job to figure out what’s right or wrong. All I could say is if a player is happy to play for a particular team, it’s good he stays with that particular team. There’s a lot of attachment with the team you are playing for,” he said.
Interestingly, quite a few team owners and players are in favour of all the players going back into the pool. Even Rahul Dravid sounded fine with the teams having to undergo the re-building process.
“One has to understand that two more teams are entering the IPL, and the beauty of the IPL is that it’s very competitive, anyone can win the tournament.”
We don’t want to end up in an English Premier League like situation where only three or four teams win. I like the concept of having an even playing field as it raises the level of the tournament and interest too,” he said.