IPL is the biggest T20 tournament in world cricket even bigger than T20 World Cup as recognized by ICC. ICC has even promised BCCI an unruffled 2 months space in the calendar year from the very busy international cricket schedule so that they can involve players from every nation in the biggest cricket carnival.
But all this limelight and presence of IPL is still not enough to provide employment to true servants of Indian cricket, feels former Karnataka cricketer Sanath Kumar.
Sanath Kumar, a right arm medium pacer, had a terrific career as head coach for multiple teams since he hung up his boots as Karnataka player. Under his mentor ship, Karnataka team reached the final of Ranji Trophy in 2009-10 season and semi-finals in the following season.
He guided the Borada team to win the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy twice in his tenure and recently he took the long-shot Assam team to Ranji Trophy semi-final.
Despite all this success, Sanath has trouble finding work for any IPL franchise this year. Seven of the eight IPL teams has foreign ex-cricketers as their head coach/mentor except one and only Virendra Sehwag for Kings XI Punjab.
“It’s an Indian Premier League and the majority should have been Indian support staff. Look at Big Bash League (BBL) where you have majority of Australian support staff, Natwest T20 (England) has majority of Englishmen and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) use their local talent but it’s only in India, we don’t look at our own people,” said Sanath Kumar.
Sanath still can’t comprehend why most of the IPL teams are reluctant in employing Indian support staff including trainers and physios.
He has worked as support staff to a foreign coach for RCB for 3 years and he strongly feels that the unwillingness of IPL franchises is reflection of far bigger and deeper problem.
“I strongly feel that some of our trainers, physios and other support staff are at par with all those overseas recruits. I feel we have an addiction for white skin. I have seen in all these years that the franchise owners are happy to show off their foreign coach – say a Ponting and it’s not the case with Indian names.”
However Sanath also feels few Indian coaches have displayed a lot of ego doing their job as mentor in the past and that has disrupted the path for all other Indian coaches.
“One aspect is that foreign coaches are more professional. The Indian big names normally would come to the ground with players while a foreigner would come earlier and get all the necessary equipment for training ready. They don’t encroach into anyone’s personal space and freedom. Hence unlike Indian coaches, there are less ego problems,” he added.