IPL has led to decline in Mumbai cricket, reckons Lalchand Rajput

IPL has led to decline in Mumbai cricket, reckons Lalchand Rajput

Former India coach Lalchand Rajput and all-rounder Abhishek Nayar blamed the rise of the cash-rich IPL for this decline in Mumbai cricket's standards.

Lalchand Rajput
Former Indian team manager, Lalchand Rajput. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Few states boast of the record that Mumbai possesses in domestic cricket. They’ve won the Ranji Trophy as many as 41 times and have produced nearly 75 Test cricketers, with nine of them having led the country. However, their domination of Indian cricket has taken a backseat, with Mumbai crashing out in the Ranji quarters last season, after suffering an innings-defeat at the hands of Karnataka and an average season in general.

At an event titled ‘The Lions of Mumbai Cricket,’ held on Saturday evening at the MIG Cricket Club, former India coach Lalchand Rajput and all-rounder Abhishek Nayar blamed the rise of the cash-rich IPL for this decline in Mumbai cricket’s standards.

Cricket is now a power game

“Cricket is now a power game. Today, Mumbai’s youngsters think of playing in the IPL, rather than for Mumbai. This mindset is wrong, because first and foremost, you have to try and play for your state, and then for your country. The IPL will come automatically. However, this mindset has changed because of money. This is the reason why Mumbai cricket has slowly come down from the level it was at earlier,” lamented Rajput, as reported by Cricbuzz.

Citing the example of other domestic teams like Gujarat and Saurashtra, Rajput said, “In our days, they used to plead with us that ‘don’t make us field for two days.’ However, now the same teams are competing with us and beating us too. This means that they’ve started believing that anybody can beat Mumbai. The other teams have developed because of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) coaching and the IPL, where you play with bigger players.”

In agreement with Rajput, Nayar said, “The stage is set for people to get picked for India through the IPL. The times have changed. You realise that Mumbai cricketers like Siddhesh Lad and Shreyas Iyer repeatedly do well in the Ranji Trophy, but sometimes don’t get that call-up. However, as soon as a Rishabh Pant does well in the IPL, he gets an immediate call-up in the Indian team. So, the journey to get to the Indian team has changed.”

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