When T20 cricket first came into existence, lot was speculated and everyone thought that it is a format of cricket which would not suit the older players.
But the Indian Premier League squashed that notion and over the last five years it showed that not only the veterans but all the retired greats of the game do perfectly fit the bill.
Over the years players like Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Sourav Ganguly, Matthew Hayden, Muttiah Muralidharan, Rahul Dravid amongst other players who have retired from international cricket have featured in the cash rich IPL. The tournament has proved over the years as a haven for the retired players who though stepped down from national duty never wanted to leave the game which runs deep down in their veins.
And instances like Warne leading the Rajasthan Royals to IPL triumph, Hayden’s sensational Mongoose bat or Ganguly’s trademark shots on the off side did make set whole new benchmarks and did make the whole cricket fraternity talk about it.
Now these players have achieved so much in their international colours that they actually never had anything to prove to anyone and all they became part of the tournament was because of the love for the tournament.
Indeed the IPL offers huge money to players, but that cannot be a reason as to why these players are motivated to play in the tournament. It is their love for the game and IPL provides an ideal platform for them to live cricket even after retirement.
The retired greats in IPL are like old wine in new bottle and they know that playing in the tournament is less strenuous than playing for the country. They make way for new players at the right time and take the game to a whole different level.
IPL is a format tailor made for the younger lots but then it does not mean that veterans cannot be a part of it. They have played since in its inception and did well also.
Their legacy demands respect and the integrity they have never did allow them to become a liability for the side.
Here are some of the reasons as to why franchisees do not think twice before signing a player who has retired from international cricket.
Experience: The kind of experience that players like Warne, Murali, Ganguly, McGrath, Hayden, Dravid to name a few would bring to their side would be of immense help for the youngsters. The way they would analyse a situation, their mindset, work ethics on the field does a lot to influence the players. These players have been playing for more than a decade and that at the highest level of the cricket, so they would know exactly what to do at a given situation which would help everyone in the team.
Mentorship: Their legacy is an automatic inspiration for the younger players in the side who would have dreamt of rubbing shoulders with the all time greats. These senior pros do act as a mentor not only on field but off field too. They know all the intricacies of the game and no one can be a better mentor than them. They can teach the players in teaching how to handle stress and pressure as they have been in that situation for so many years and nothing can be more helpful than words coming straight out from the horse’s mouth.
Preparing strategy: These players have been in cricket for so long that they know inside out of the game. The young generation players can take a cue from them as to how to prepare a strategy and change by the snap of the finger if it does not shift to a more fruitful one.
Handling pressure: They definitely teach everyone around as to how to deal pressure and keep their cool during crunch times and also stay calm and composed in big match situations.
By Indian Sports News Network