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Coming back from a very enjoyable Easter break, and with no sign of K Rudd's $900 charity handouts, I and many with whom I holidayed find ourselves sheepishly checking our credit card statements to assess the overall damage. In fact, every invoice is being meticulously audited to find discrepancies which we can use to recover every possible dollar, by means fair or foul. While in this dark mood, I read this about our good friend Andrew Symonds. He did what?!?!
I understand that membership of the national team has made Symonds and his pals the big, global stars that they are. Symonds and others would find it difficult to demand such large pay-cheques without continued involvement in international cricket. All this logic aside (for we know Symmo ain't all that logical) what makes a man forfeit $1.9 million, to play for his country in a desert where you have to apply for permits to buy booze?
Could Andrew Symonds be the dictionary.com definition for the word patriot? Imagine this:
pa⋅tri⋅ot [pey-tree-uht, -ot or, especially Brit., pa-tree-uht]– noun
1. Andrew Symonds
The fact that Symonds and Brett Lee have chosen to forfeit significant sums of money to participate in another meaningless ODI series in a venue that was once considered cricket's very own home of match fixing surely fuels the debate about whether the IPL needs a window. Will the next generation superstar cricketer value national pride over the need to expand his portfolio of luxury holiday villas and yellow supercars?
If international cricket is the goose that lays the golden eggs do cricket administrators owe it to the game to create a window for the IPL, and other such competitions, so that the best players do not have to choose international duty just because they fear the snide remarks and disapproving glances of their less worthy international team mates?
This could also be a means for regaining some semblance of control for the ICC. By creating a window and mandating that all national board-contracted players must play for their national teams outside of this window, the ICC will go a long way to ensuring that situations like Sri Lanka reneging on an agreement to tour England are minimised, if not eliminated.
Of course, the real concern for us devoted cricket fans is that instead of gaining further control, the highly malleable ICC board officials will be coerced by Lalit Modi and his cohorts into adopting a FIFA-style system where international matches are reduced to mere exhibition games and individual clubs / franchises rule the roost.
While this eventuality is a distinct possibility, the do-nothing scenario seems the better option. In the meanwhile, Andrew Symonds has 1.91 million morsels of food for thought.
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