As the IPL heads towards its climax after weeks of non-stop action, not everyone is keen to put his feet up. Genuine domestic talent and Mumbai boys, Suryakumar Yadav and Dhawal Kulkarni, will surely not be looking for rest, having managed to play just a game apiece for the Mumbai Indians.
A number of others like Abu Nechim Ahmed, the pacer from Assam, and Kuldeep Yadav, the talented chinaman bowler from Uttar Pradesh, also were warming the bench.
Out of MI's 33-member squad, only 24 players have got a game. Of them, not more than 15 have had meaty roles with nine having played two games or less.
While most of the foreigners have got at least a game, despite only four being allowed in the playing XI, a lot of the local players seem to have been reduced to mere spectators. Every team has a similar story to tell. The bias towards certain players in the squad is clear, and it's not just restricted to playing.
HT had even reported on April 20 and 26 that the Pune Warriors India and Kings XI Punjab had packed 'surplus' players home in the middle of the season. To dish out such treatment has become normal for teams.
The reasons for such inexplicable selections can be varied. The teams may prefer including players with international experience or the selections could be swayed by personal reasons. But it has left the 'unwanted' players feeling bitter.
There is a big gap between how the fringe players and the 'stars' are seen. An RCB player says, "You cannot say there is no difference in the way the stars and the domestic players are treated. It may be because they have the experience, but it is for everyone to see."
A Kings XI Punjab player says not every international player helps local talent whole-heartedly. "See, they help the youngsters for their own reasons. They want to create a favourable image in the team, or else they know they may not be a part of the team the next year!"
A Pune player explains how those who are not a part of the squad for the game do not even travel to the ground on match day.
"We are given tickets for the normal stands. So, we usually don't go to the ground. Being players and known faces, it becomes awkward to sit in the crowd. Then, we watch the game from the hotel."
The RCB player says it can be tough when one doesn't get to play for close to two months. "It is not right when you practice so hard and then hardly get to play, lot of disappointment and frustration fills you."
However, a Rajasthan Royals member explains why certain players would still be happy to be in an IPL team. "If they don't get to play, there will obviously be frustration. But money is important, so some players are happy with the money they get. It helps their families too."