Bedi blames IPL for poor overseas Test showing
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi feels the emergence of the cash-rich Indian Premier League is one of the primary reasons for India's disastrous performance in Test matches overseas.
The legendary left-arm spinner, who never minces words, reckons that "it is the men who run IPL" who are more responsible" for this disaster which was waiting to happen.
"If one starts putting things in a broader perspective, you must understand that this is exactly what happens when you have non-cricketers running the show. You want to run a professional body and at the same time you have all honorary posts," Bedi said on Tuesday.
Image: Bishan Singh Bedi
'It's just a 'hit and run' game'
Asked about the impact of the IPL on the game, Bedi said, "The game of cricket always had a philosophy, but, sadly, IPL doesn't have any philosophy.
"It's just a 'hit and run' game. Cricket is indeed a commercial game but the BCCI should have known where to draw a line as far as commerce is concerned."
Bedi was also very vocal about the "role" of BCCI's technical committee, which has now been in existence for nearly two decades.
"The BCCI technical committee is supposed to be the most important committee which should take all major decisions. Sunil Gavaskar headed it for a long time and now Sourav Ganguly is the chairman. Tell me what has been the contribution of this committee for the development of game? They have done absolutely nothing," he said.
'You won't find Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman's replacements'
Bedi is also miffed in the manner people are calling for VVS Laxman's ouster.
"Why should only Laxman be axed? Why not Virender Sehwag? Do we have Laxman's replacement ready? Why didn't we start this process of finding replacements at least a year and half earlier?" he questioned.
"Let me make it very clear, you might get a replacement for MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir, but you won't find Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman's replacements. That's why I am saying that people in charge of the game are laughing their way to bank rather than addressing the key issues."
Bedi seemed impressed that the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) wants to implement restrictions on age-group players on playing IPL, but he is not sure how effectively one can execute the idea.
"It's a good thing that they want to start but it's like preventing an under-age from drinking."
Image: VVS Laxman
'The tour itinerary is faulty'
Meanwhile, Dilip Vengsarkar, another former India captain, and two other former India stars Chandu Borde and Bapu Nadkarni refused to blame the IPL solely for the team's debacle Down Under.
"IPL is not the only thing that is affecting the performance. The (tour itinerary) is faulty. There were not sufficient games before the start of the series or in between the Tests.
"The reserves in the team, like Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha [who are expected to play in the last match at Adelaide] have not played for more than a month," Vengsarkar, a former national chief selector, said.
Image: Dilip Vengsarkar