The match between Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium on Monday was a clash between between the haves and the have-nots of domestic cricket, as far as the player representation in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is concerned.
Figures don't always tell the whole story but they do indicate the trend and when it comes to IPL, a small side like J&K can be called deprived one. Out of the eleven players that Delhi fielded in their opening tie against J&K in the Vijay Hazare trophy eight players have contracts with different IPL franchises while their opponent don't have any player even from the 15-member squad being a part of an IPL team.When the match began there were officials from Delhi Daredevils who were seen talking to the Delhi players who are part of IPL franchise. When the game finished, the officials looked desperately for Unmukt Chand and Punit Bisht.
While the J&K players went back to the nets at the end of the day's play with hardly anybody approaching them.
Even with three Ranji Trophy centuries to his name J& K's Ian Dev Singh doesn't have an IPL contract while a few Delhi players have earned it with inferior numbers.
There have been questions raised by many former players about the importance of Vijay Hazare trophy and the timing of, which they feel makes them nothing more than practice matches before the IPL. However, not many come out in the open to express the view. "This (Vijay Hazare) is an important tournament. Performances here will certainly open more avenues for the players. Though I'm not sure about getting IPL contracts," said Delhi chief coach Sanjeev Sharma.Former India opener Aakash Chopra, however, feels that players from smaller states miss out on IPL contracts even if they perform well. "A lot of factors are involved. If a player from a plate division team does well his good performances go unnoticed because the team is not up to mark. On the other hand those from bigger sides do have it a little easy when it comes to bagging contracts," said Chopra.