Sunil Gavaskar reacted to criticism over the Indian Premier League (IPL) schedule from the two cricketing powerhouse countries of England and Australia. The two parties view that the timetable jeopardizes the international calendar.
The two Western powerhouses' criticisms came as the IPL tournament schedule was poised to expand further, taking up more space on the calendar. However, the detractors overlooked the fact that the IPL was one of the forerunners of T20 competitions.
Because of these critiques, Gavaskar answered that he defends India's attitude and advises the detractors to focus on their domestic interests rather than others.
"Look after your interests but don’t interfere in ours," Gavaskar said.
"...By all means, look after your cricket interests but hey please don’t interfere in ours and tell us what to do. We will look after our interests and do it better than what you tell us to do," Gavaskar remarked.
Gavaskar then continued his response, claiming that the critiques was hilarious since it was not the first time India had been chastised for the same reason.
"It’s been amusing to read that the Indian Premier League is once again seen as a disruptor of the cricketing calendar of other international teams," he said.
"The moment the news about the South African T20 league and the UAE T20 league came out, the ‘old powers’ started squirming and got their apologists to have a go at the IPL," Gavaskar added.
Furthermore, according to Gavaskar, the core reason for the disagreement made by England and Australia counterparts is the possibility of a conflict scheduling between their league and the leagues that will be hosted in both South Africa and the UAE.
The issue stems from the possibility that some of their players would choose to play for South Africa or the UAE rather than join their side.
"The Australians, too, have scheduled their Big Bash when their contracted players will be available to play," he continued.
"But it’s worrying them that the UAE and the South African T20 leagues are scheduled around the same time and there’s the danger of some of their players opting to play there instead of the Big Bash."
Gavaskar also described how India was regarded when the team was not yet a global superpower, and how they were considered as a non-attractive team that had to wait for years to be able to perform in the western powerhouse.
“The first Indian team toured Australia in 1947/8. Guess when was the next time the Indian team went there? It was 1967/8. Yes, sir, a good 20 years between the two tours. The next was in 1977/8," he asserted.
“England, too, had the Indian team coming down after long gaps – 1936, then 1946. The World War II from 1939 to 1945 could have played a part in this. Indian visited England again in 1952, 1959, and then 1967."
Finally, Gavaskar discovered the irony that these same old powers, England and Australia, want India to visit their borders every year because they have realized that the Indian team brings in more money than even when they play against one another.