V. V. S. Laxman has hit out at Michael Clarke for his recent claims that Australian cricketers “sucked up” to India captain Virat Kohli during India’s tour of Australia in 2018-19 to protect their IPL contracts.
“Just by being nice to someone doesn’t get you a place in IPL,” Laxman, who also mentors IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, told Star Sports on its show ‘Cricket Connected’.
“Any franchise will look at the player’s calibre and value add to the team, which gives them desired results by winning matches/tournaments. These are the kind of players who get IPL contracts. So just being nice to someone will not earn you a spot in the IPL,” he said.
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Former India batsman Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, said as a mentor, when he is on the auction table, players who perform well for their countries are sought after. “If you’re friendly with any Indian player it doesn’t mean that you are getting IPL contract. As a mentor, I’m on the auction table and we select players, those international players that have played exceptionally well for their country and can add value to the franchise. Friendship with any Indian player doesn’t ensure entry into the IPL,” Laxman said.
Former India opener K. Srikkanth also shot back at Clarke, terming his comments “ridiculous.”
Srikkanth, who was part of the 1983-World-Cup-winning Indian team, said matches were not won by sledging. “You do not win matches just by sledging. Aussie’s loss is a loss, his statement was ridiculous I would say,” said 60-year-old Srikkanth.
Srikkanth, himself an aggressive player, said that sledging cannot help in any way. “If you ask Nasser Hussain or Sir Vivian Richards who are experienced players, you can never score runs or get wickets through sledging. You need to play good cricket and showcase determination; you need to bowl well to get wickets and bat well to achieve targets. Sledging cannot help in any way according to my opinion,” he said.
Australian Test skipper Tim Paine had earlier hit back at Clarke, saying his team avoided provoking “any fight” with Kohli only to keep his bat quiet, not to save IPL contracts.
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