I can’t fault Eoin Morgan for choosing the IPL over domestic cricket — money’s a potent drug, especially for a 24-year-old. But it would be much easier to accept if Morgan, in response to questions on his recent career move, simply pulled out a wad of English sterling and said, “Ga, ga, goo, goo.” (Again, that’s not to criticize the man. I would understand it.)
So I’d appreciate it if he didn’t insult my intelligence when he says the following:
“The learning curve I went through in IPL last year, the pressure I was put under, the fact of having to produce your skills time after time in massive situations, it helps my game a lot and I get a lot of confidence from it,” said Morgan.
“The amount I learned last year just by playing five games and staying out there for the next three weeks, practising every day and rubbing shoulders with legends of the game, did massive amounts for me.”
This is what’s known in political circles as “spin.” Other people call it “disingenuous.” Playing in the IPL is not ideal practice for Test cricket. It just isn’t. And playing in the IPL doesn’t boost a player’s confidence; it just confirms it. (Shy people don’t become rock stars.)
But Morgan’s IPL decision raises a larger question: aren’t anti-Morgan players more interesting? I mean the players who only play Tests (voluntarily, or otherwise). Yes, I love Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, but the mystique of Test-only players (Dravid, Laxman, Nash) is just as (more?) compelling. No IPL parties; no slogging; a willingness to face collapses and crises — there’s something great about men who have put aside childish things. More, please.