Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has said that he is strictly against the idea of Indian cricketers getting rested for series, especially seniors. Gavaskar’s statements come after the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant, among certain other high-profile cricketers were given a break for India’s ODI series against West Indies starting later this month. There have also been reports doing the rounds that out-of-form batter Virat Kohli has asked to be rested for the entire tour of West Indies, which also involved five T20Is. Weighing on the same, Gavaskar stated that asking to be rested when it comes to be playing for India is just not done and if the cricketers do not skip the Indian Premier League, there is excuse big enough to not give international cricket the same importance.
“See I do not agree with this concept of players resting. Not at all. ‘You don’t take rest during IPL, then why ask for it while playing for India? I don’t agree with it. You will have to play for India. Don’t talk about rest. There are only 20 overs in an innings in T20. That does not take any toll on your body. In Test matches, the mind and the body take a toll, I get that. But I don’t think there is much problem in T20 cricket,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
The legendary India cricketer then pointed out that it is about time the BCCI intervenes into this ‘rest policy’ which has become so common in Indian cricket. Gavaskar, the first batter to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket pointed out that strict actions need to be taken and mentioned that top players should either be given the liberty to pick and choose series, or have their contracts altered accordingly.
“I honestly feel that the BCCI needs to look into this concept of rest. All the Grade A cricketers have received very good contracts. They receive payment for every match. Tell me if there is any company whose CEO, or MDs get so much time off? I feel that if Indian cricket is to become more professional, a line needs to be drawn. If you want to be rested, you need to reduce your guarantees. Then you take rest, because you don’t want to play. But how can anyone say that I don’t want to play for the Indian team. Which is why I do not agree to the concept,” Gavaskar added.