Former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath on Sunday slammed the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying that it could never be the future of Indian cricket as it would not help the domestic cricketers.
The stylish all-rounder, who is remembered more for his comebacks, said: "The IPL is being organized just for commercial interest and amusement. It is good only for those players who are participating in it."
"But I feel sorry for the other first class cricketers, most of whom would not be a part of the tournament. It's a total commercial venture and it won't be of any good to the Indian cricket."
To counter the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), organised by Zee group, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) floated the idea of IPL. It is based on the league culture, where various corporate groups and people own eight teams and the inaugural Twenty20 tournament starts April 18.
Amarnath, who is in the city in connection with a cricket tournament, said the IPL is nowhere concerned with the betterment of the sports.
"If somebody says they are doing it for the development of cricket, he is wrong," he said.
Amarnath asked why the corporates, investing money in IPL league, are not doing the same for other sports in the country. "Even in cricket, the money is being provided to only a few elite cricketers while the most of the first class players are left out. It will hit the very structure of domestic cricket. This Twenty20 game will not help the future of the Indian cricket".
He felt the bidding for the players could have been avoided. "The players have been reduced to a commodity like in any commercial project. I feel sorry for the them."
The former all-rounder opined: "Because of this, the young players in the country will lose interest in the domestic meets, which is already deglamourised and the Ranji Trophy will be the biggest sufferer."
"It will never take the position of Test cricket. It is a different game and its popularity will be there always", he said.
Asked to compare the IPL with that of Australian TV tycoon Kerry Packer's tournament, Amarnath said Kerry Packer's tournament was different. "IPL is more amusement than cricket," he said.
Asked to comment on the exclusion of former Indian captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the present Indian ODI team, Amarnath said: "I'm surprised by the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly. It is sad that he has to prove his capability every time, when there is no doubt that he is one of the best cricketers that the country has produced and he has proved it over and over again."
"I feel he (Sourav) and Rahul Dravid should not been dropped from the side, in the first place," he said.