Former Australian Test cricketer Max Tangles Walker and organiser of last Fridays Sportsmans Lunch, Peter Carmont.
Former Australian Test cricketer Max Tangles Walker and organiser of last Fridays Sportsmans Lunch, Peter Carmont.

IPL to spread cricket peace

By Graham Broadhead THERE is a lot more to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament than just money.

Retiring Australian Test cricketer, Adam Gilchrist, reckons the competition, which is generating huge amounts of money for players and organisers, will do a lot towards helping the relations between international teams.

Gilchrist was speaking in a recorded interview with Aussie cricket legend Max Walker at the Ballina RSL Club last Friday.

Big ‘Tangles’ Walker had spoken to the former Lismore cricketer before the one-day international against Sri Lanka at the MCG and then replayed the interview for the 200 people who had gathered for the Sportsmans Lunch, a fundraiser for The Cancer Council.

Gilchrist said the IPL gave international cricketers the chance to play with cricketers from other countries.

“In the recent season there has been a lot of controversy,” the former Lismore cricketer said referring to the drama between the Indian and Australian teams over the incident in which Harbhajan Singh called Andrew Symonds a monkey during the Sydney Test.

“There has been a lot said about teams not understanding the other teams culture.

“This (the IPL) is a great opportunity for players to learn more about each other and other peoples culture.”

He is one of 80 international players who put himself forward for the competition, as well as leg-spinning legend Shane Warne and retired paceman Glenn McGrath.

The wicket-keeper batsman earned a bid from franchised team owners of $765,000 for the lucrative Twenty20 competition. Gilchrist said the competition was an unknown.

“But I’m sure there were some petrified people around when World Series Cricket came about, but it didn’t have a bad effect in the longer term,” he said.

Former Australian medium-pacer Walker was one of the signings to the late Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket (WSC) back in 1977.

World Series Cricket rocked the cricketing world and became known as the cricket revolution.

At the time, the cricketers could see other professional sportsmen like tennis players and golfers getting paid so much more, and some of the best players were keen to snap up the dollars being offered by Packer.

Walker reminisced at the Sportsmans Lunch about when he signed on the dotted line to be part of the competition which rebelled against the then Australian Cricket Board. He said the players initially signed contracts for $20,000 each.

Rod Marsh was the last player to sign with the rebel competition, Walker said, and he reckons Marsh was holding off because there was a chance he could be made captain of the Australian Test cricket team.

Walker said he can see a similarity with current Test batsman and the man earmarked as the future Australian captain, Michael Clarke, who pulled out of the bidding for the IPL.

Walker said Clarke was redefining himself. “He could earn millions of dollars if he’s captain of Australia.”

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