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IPL outshone Sydney Olympics: Gilchrist

The retired Aussie stumper says it was quite overwhelming to see an event capture the attention and imagination of a country quite like it.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Melbourne
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 06:40 PM IST

Retired Australian stumper Adam Gilchrist is still awestruck by the glitz and glamour of the inaugural Indian Premier League and feels it outshone even the Sydney Olympic Games, but his former skipper Ricky Ponting fears the easy moolah in IPL might just lure next generation cricketers away from national duty.

"It was quite overwhelming to see an event capture the attention and mindset and imagination of a country quite like it," Gilchrist said.

"The only thing I can think of that was comparable was maybe the Olympics when they were in Sydney. But the Olympics was about two weeks, this was 45 days every night," he was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

"It felt like that at 8pm the whole country would tune in no matter what the game was or who was playing. It was front page of the papers pretty much every day," said the Australian, who donned the Deccan Chargers' jersey in the IPL.

"As much as the concept and the tournament was successful, that passion for cricket in India grows more and more. The whole concept will be looked back on as a landmark in the history of cricket," said the star stumper-batsman.

Ponting, on the other hand, sounded apprehensive of the aftermath of the dollar deluge.

"I've always been a little bit worried that if money keeps growing and growing and growing in that version of the game then all of a sudden young kids who are 14, 15, 16 now and want to make cricket their career may not even consider playing for their countries," Ponting told the daily.

"They might be trying to get a crack at the IPL or a competition somewhere like that and hopefully make a name for themselves and totally turn their back on the international game. That's what I'm worried about," he said.

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