It's time we take a fresh look at our belief that country would always take precedence over an Indian Premier League franchise.
Reason: The IPL team managements are bluntly refusing to consider resting India players, who will shortly turn out for India in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies, even in inconsequential matches.
More than the refusal, it's the tenor and definitiveness of their response that's startling. Sample this. "The T20 World Cup is not really my concern. My concern is this tournament and getting the best players on the park," the Mumbai Indians coach, Robin Singh, responded sometime back to whether he will consider resting the likes of Zaheer Khan to keep them fresh for the World Cup.
In all fairness to Robin Singh, the coach perhaps didn't want to change the winning combination and lay the team vulnerable to upsets so close to the business end of the tournament.
Point taken, but, quite strangely, the idea hasn't cut ice even with the team already out of the competition. Kings XI Punjab coach Tom Moody, too, sounded equally dismissive of the idea when it was brought up for his consideration. "Not at all. We will put our best team in the park for every game we play," he said.
And he, too, had his reasons. "We have had a very disappointing season, and I think we can still walk away from this tournament with our heads held high if we win most of our remaining games," he said.
Besides the reluctance of team managements, there's another roadblock in the way. If some franchise, for instance, agree to rest the India players, then won't the foreign players also demand the same privilege?
So, with every team playing to stay alive or for pride, one thing is certain: the players will hardly get any rest until the IPL draws to a close, and will head to the West Indies worn out by the one-and-half-month long rigmarole.