“Don't think players will only play for the money” - Sourav Ganguly on whether Indian cricketers will be more keen on cash-rich IPL

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly doesn’t believe that the massive rise in the IPL's per-match valuation will entice Indian players into focusing more on the T20 league than playing for the country.

A couple of days back, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that IPL’s media rights for the 2023-2027 cycle have been sold for ₹48,390 crore, making it the second-most valued sporting league in the world (only behind the National Football League [NFL] of the USA) in terms of per match value.

Asked if the money factor will have an impact on the players’ mindset, Ganguly asserted that it wouldn't happen. He told TOI in an interview:

“First thing first, money can't be related to performances. From the times of Sunil Gavaskar to Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid, the money was nowhere close to what the players get now. But all of them had the hunger to perform. I don't think players will only play for the money.”
🚨 NEWS 🚨: BCCI announces the successful bidders for acquiring the Media Rights for the Indian Premier League Seasons 2023-2027. #TATAIPL More Details 🔽…

The former India captain added:

“Players play for the stature they get and the pride of representing India. Every player would want to win big international tournaments.”

The franchise vs country debate has been going on for the last few years as there have been a number of instances where players have preferred playing in the IPL over representing their country.

“Priority is to increase the salaries of women cricketers” - Sourav Ganguly on how BCCI would utilize IPL windfall

Sharing his thoughts after the lucrative IPL media rights deal, Ganguly assured that the BCCI will ensure that the fan experience improves in the stadiums and added that there are plans to host the T20 league in a grander fashion.

Describing the mega deal as a big opportunity to further strengthen Indian cricket, he elaborated:

“This will help the BCCI create even stronger infrastructure. The money needs to go to the grassroots. This also allows the board to raise the player fees across age groups and genders. The priority is to increase the salaries of women cricketers. We have already doubled the domestic match fees and the players will start to benefit from that from this season.

Ganguly concluded by saying:

“And I also believe this will get more kids to take up cricket, as it has become a proper career option.”
Since its inception, the IPL has been synonymous with growth & today is a red-letter day for India Cricket, with Brand IPLtouching a new high with e-auction resulting in INR 48,390 cr value. IPL is now the 2nd most valued sporting league in the world in terms of permatch value!

During the interview, the BCCI chief confirmed that for the next two years, the IPL will continue to have 74 matches. As per reports, there are plans to expand the tournament even further by adding more teams in the future.

Also Read: 5 legendary cricketers who don't have an autobiography

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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