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    'BCCI should explain Sehwag playing IPL'

    Virender Sehwag, who was rested for India

    Virender Sehwag, who was rested for India's Asia Cup squad, has declared himself fit to play the IPL.

    New Delhi: The onus is on the BCCI to come clean on Virender Sehwag's injury after the opener declared himself fit for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), said former India player Navjot Singh Sidhu.

    The sponsors have apparently paid billions of rupees to watch star cricketers in action during the Twenty20 league.

    "That onus is on the Board. It's the Board of Control for Cricket in India who has sold it to the sponsors, who are paying billions and billions for Sehwag, for Sachin Tendulkar, for Harbhajan Singh. So don't blame the cricketer alone," said Sidhu.

    "I'll tell you why the board cannot say ... because it has taken money from the sponsors and that money is not a small bit of money, it's billions.

    "Let's take an example ... you have signed a movie with actor Akshay Kumar and later on you told me that in place of Akshay some Jagjit Singh from Connaught Place will act. No one knows who Jagjit Singh is. No one knows who the hero is. The sponsors have paid you the money because they want to see Akshay Kumar and he is the big draw ... he is the magnet, so you can't take him away," Sidhu explained.

    In the wake of the controversial rotational policy during the tour Down Under, Sehwag's name did not figure in the Asia Cup squad and that created a furore as the selection committee chief Kris Srikkanth failed to clear whether the opener was dropped or rested for the Asia Cup.

    While the chief selector insisted that Sehwag had been 'rested' due to a sore shoulder, the opener said he had back spasms and had opted for rest as per the physio's advice.

    Sidhu said it's a mutual symbiosis where both the BCCI and the cricketer benefit playing in the IPL.

    "It's a mutual symbiosis ... a symbiosis where both parties benefit. The board benefits because they get the mileage, they get the money and the cricketer benefits because ... how many cricketers like Irfan or Yusuf Pathan will earn 10 crore in one and a half months.

    "It's a huge draw, something for the cricketer whose life is short not certain. So it's between the board and the cricketer," he said.

    Sidhu said that cricket has been divided into three products in today's world - Twenty20, ODIs and Tests.

    "Every player has his strong point. Great players have looked ordinary in the shorter version of the game; their wings seem to be clipped and ordinary players have looked extraordinary in T20. It's basically a speciality. It's like honing your skills for a particular thing.

    "IPL gives you a good opportunity to raise the level of your game. [Ravindra] Jadeja and others are the inventions of IPL. They sprung like the mushrooms because whole world is watching them in the IPL," he said.