India Premier League (IPL) 2021 was stalled after Match No. 29 due to a surge in the coronavirus cases among the franchises. However, the fourteenth edition was rife with controversies.
One of the biggest cause célèbre was Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) sacking their skipper David Warner and even dropping him from the playing XI.
While the cricketing fraternity was divided in their opinions, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar defended Warner and argued that though the left-handed opener wasn’t performing up to the desired expectations in the cash-rich league, excluding him from the final XI wasn’t the right decision.
“Hyderabad will also get time to think about its decision to not just sack David Warner as the captain but even to drop him from the playing XI. Warner was getting runs but not in the same assertive manner of earlier years. Still, with little support from the others, those runs were precious. Yet, he was left out of the playing XI, which was strange. Without the cares of captaincy, he could have been the galvanizing batsman that the team needed,” Gavaskar wrote in Sportstar.
The 71-year-old opined that coaches, too, should be axed mid-way in the same vein with football.
“While the rights and wrongs of dropping him as captain could well be debated for long, the question that needs to be asked is if captains can be changed midway, why can’t coaches be treated the same? In football, the moment a team starts faltering, it’s the manager who is shown the exit door, so why not in cricket too?,” the Mumbaikar reckoned.
Concluding the column, Gavaskar wrote that the ‘Orange Army’ would get ample time to introspect post the suspension of the IPL.
“Sunrisers Hyderabad had a forgettable beginning and would have been relieved that the event had to be suspended…the suspension could well be a blessing in disguise as it allows time for a calm, cool and proper introspection rather than in the hurly-burly of the tournament itself,” the veteran cricketer asserted.