Has the IPL cap become more lucrative than the India Cap? If the ex Indian Great Sunil Gavaskar is to be believed, it is so. While delivering the inaugural Dilip Sardesai Memorial lecture on July 2nd, Gavaskar claimed that “IPL is seen to be the be all and end all, not the India Cap. Players today skip domestic tournaments, just before the IPL to avoid any injuries. They feel it is okay not to give their 100%”. Coming from such a batting great, it is a cause for concern. Gavaskar, in his playing days, apart from representing India, represented Mumbai or West Zone or his club Dadar Union or even his employers (Nirlon) with the same passion and energy. Not only him, but probably, his generation of cricketers. To them, every game was equally important. He fears that such a desire is rapidly eroding in today’s cricketers. He himself says: “Twenty years ago, cricket wasn’t seen as an attractive career option. But today, in fact, kids are even encouraged by their parents to take up cricket just because of the IPL and the kind of money it provides.” He is probably right. Slick marketing, mega bucks, instant popularity and above all, not going through the long drawn rigmarole are all factors that help attract budding cricketers to the IPL fold where any technique will do. In a country of more than a billion, how many can really aspire to make it to the Indian cricket team? And in any case, who is bothered about the history of the game? In today’s quick fix world, one season of IPL is probably worth a lifetime of Ranji or Deodhar trophy expose! Gavaskar is always known to call a spade a spade. Never one to look back or take things lying down, time and again he has raised the administration’s hackles, with his precise comments and profound insight about the game. This time, he seems to have hit the nail on the head. With the IPL co-ordinator planning not one but two IPL tournaments in a year (going by the popularity and TV ratings), it is only fair that more and more youngsters are drawn to it in a cricket crazy country. And this can only spell doom for the connoisseurs of the game.