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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Sunday, 6 April 2008 08:38 UK

IPL blamed for India Test defeat

Bollywood actor Preity Zinta (left) and Chairman Indian Premier League Lalit Modi
The IPL has injected plenty of glitz and glamour into the Indian game

Sections of the Indian media have blamed the distraction of the upcoming Indian Premier League for the national team's worst home Test loss since 1959.

India lost by an innings and 90 runs to South Africa and are now 1-0 down.

The Hindustan Times claimed: "The Indian cricket board does not seem to care that the players have to focus on the Test series now, not on the IPL."

The IPL Twenty20 league begins on 18 April, three days after the third and final Test in Kanpur is due to end.

Ex-India Test wicketkeeper Kiran More claimed the players looked jaded during the match in Ahmedabad.

"How many turned up for the net practice session before the match tells the story," said More. "The players were already too tired by attending various IPL functions."

The Hindustan Times also claimed India's players had not devoted enough attention to their pre-match preparations.

"After the drawn first Test in Chennai, which was played in energy-sapping conditions, the players needed rest so that their minds remained focused.

"Instead, we found that players spent the short rest period before the second Test advertising for their IPL teams.

"In contrast, the South Africans - who are going to play in the IPL circus as well - said no to these shoots. For them, winning the Test series was clearly more important," the paper concluded.

The Times of India said: "Teams have been bought for millions of dollars and TV rights for a billion too. But it is impossible to predict if it will all be worth it.

"The matches will be played every evening for 44 days. Can a tournament of this nature keep the excitement alive for so long?"

see also
Will India's cricket league work?
27 Feb 08 |  South Asia
Cricket's new order
29 Feb 08 |  Cricket

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