The Indian Premier League was a landmark event in the history of cricket. While the fans poured into stadia, the players happily smiled their way to the bank.
And it seems that the big bucks have had its effect. So much so that Australia's star batsman Michael Hussey has ditched his native Western Australian team to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
The left-hander though clarified his stand, saying he had played a crucial role in helping the Chennai team qualify for the event.
"I have agonised over the decision for quite some period of time. I sort of came down to about three or four different reasons. Firstly, I had played for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and helped in the first four games to help for the Champions League. So I feel an allegiance towards them in that respect. Also, I have never played a Twenty20 game for Western Australia, so didn't contribute anything to achieving the Champions League status," he said in Nagpur on Tuesday.
It has been reported that the WACA team has been compensated with a six-figure amount for the transfer of the mercurial left-hander.
"And that I would be taking away a place of a young Western Australian to play in the tournament which should be very exciting tournament to be involved in. So I didn't want to take someone's place who helped the team to get there. I also believe that Western Australia Cricket Association has been financially rewarded so I can play for the Chennai Super Kings. It was a tough decision because Western Australia is where I have played all my cricket," he said.
The WACA team still boasts of a formidable side, comprising of IPL's batting sensation Shaun Marsh and his Kings XI Punjab teammate Luke Pomersbach.
The eight-team tournament will be staged next month in India, featuring the IPL winners Rajasthan Royals, runners-up Chennai Super Kings, South Africa's domestic champions Nashua Titans along with Nashua Dolphins, Australia's top two teams in Victoria and WACA, England's Middlesex and Pakistan's Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions.
Hussey gave full backing to Test cricket, saying it is the true test of a cricketer's abilities.
"Test match is the toughest cricket in the world. It tests you technically, tactically, mentally, physically and that is the greatest test for any player. Any type of player in the world the toughest type of cricket you can play is Test cricket. I am very confident that the Test match will be very popular around the world and continue to grow because it is a tough game. I will fight very hard to make sure that Test cricket remains alive and grows," he said.