The day Ricky Ponting retired from ODI cricket there was discussion on Indian news TV channels whether Sachin Tendulkar should retire. Before that during the Test series there was talk whether senior cricketers should retire.
It is for cricketers to decide when they want to retire and for selectors to decide who should be in the team. A cricketer does not retire does not mean he continues in the team. Selectors have dropped players who did not perform well. Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been in and out of the team. Rahul Dravid was dropped from ODIs. Sourav Ganguly was dropped as captain and player after winning Test series in Zimbabwe. It is wrong to say Kapil Dev by not retiring two years early delayed Srinathâ€™s entry. If Kapil Dev was not good selectors would have dropped him. The argument that senior cricketers by not retiring block chances of young cricketers is not correct.
There is a feeling that cricketers prefer club over country. Gautam Gambhir playing IPL matches when he had an injury and opting out of West Indies tour is one instance. As Dean Jones put it was a choice between 11 crores for IPL and 2 crores for West Indies tour. It is said that as per contract Gautam Gambhir would have got the full amount of 11 crores for IPL if he had played five matches. He did not have to play other matches. However the contract could have something in fine print that required Gautam Gambhir to play all matches to get the full amount. When Sri Lanka wanted its players to return early for practice for England tour they were told that payments to players will be held up. Lasit Malinga retired from Test cricket instead of giving up IPL.
BCCI owns IPL. Franchisees pay money to BCCI and players. They want to recover their money. Franchisees drop players whom they do not want. BCCI wants money and does not care about players getting medals for country and did not send a team to Asian Games.
On 10/3/2010 PCB imposed bans and fines on seven cricketers: Mohammed Yusuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal. This followed Pakistanâ€™s disastrous tour of Australia. During the tour Pakistanâ€™s performance was poor and it appeared some players did their level best to lose the matches.
Was there match-fixing? ICC anti-corruption unit was present during the tour but that doesnâ€™t mean much.
Did the players lose the matches because they did not like each other? Was there groupism? Whatever be the reasons the players had to be disciplined and PCB acted.