Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has suggested Indian Premier League contracts have distracted some of India's young players from pursuing Test careers.
The Kings XI Punjab's Sarfaraz Khan and Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson are two examples of India‘s batting talent. Khan and Samson are popular figures in the IPL, but haven't yet played Test cricket for India.
“Even after a little bit of success, it's not their fault also because at a young age you get distracted because IPL contracts are so big It's the starting of their careers, they are not even playing for India they are getting such big contracts,” said Singh during a conversation on Instagram with Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma.
“So they don't know how to handle the money so they're easily distracted. So you need seniors, you need coaches, seniors have to talk to the youngsters and explain to them what is important to them – playing for the country and working hard on the field and then all these things follow. Sachin Tendulkar told me once, ‘if you perform on the field, everything will follow'.
Yuvraj in the IPL
Singh represented the Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad during a prolific career that also featured 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is.
“I was observing some boys there who didn't want to play Test cricket. They don't want to play four-day cricket for their own state. They are happy playing one-day cricket because of IPL,” he added.
“I don't think the second generation really wants to play Test cricket. And Test cricket is the real test of a cricketer. So I want the next generation to tell them these things. I feel even the players who have already played for India should play domestic cricket when they are not on national duty. It would give them valuable experience of playing on different surfaces around the country.”
The start of this year's edition of the IPL has been delayed from 29 March to 15 April amid preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Mumbai are the defending champions, having defeated the Chennai Super Kings in last year's final.