Former India skipper Rahul Dravid on Friday said he respects the Justice Lodha panel’s decision to suspend Indian Premier League (IPL) teams Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings’ owners for two years but termed it a massive blow to the prospects of the younger players in the two teams.
“I don’t want to make firm judgments on people, but it’s disappointing that the actions of one or two can have an impact on so many. Not only me, but generally in a situation like this, the people at the bottom of the pyramid are the ones who are most affected,” Dravid, currently the coach of the India A team, said at a press conference ahead of India A’s four-day match against South Africa.
“The top players and coaches always find stuff to do afterwards. It’s not difficult for top players to be picked by other franchises. However, the young players who don’t easily get an opportunity, they miss out.”
“I feel disappointed for them, but we respect the decision the court has taken. In my opinion, not everyone at Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings is bad. There are lots of very, very good people,” he said.
Asked if his association with Royals would forever be a blot on his career, Dravid diplomatically insisted it was “for the people to decide”, but said had he been aware of any wrongdoing in the team, he would have “dealt with it”.
“At the end of the day, I see my role as a mentor and as a coach of a team. People need to decide if the actions of shareholders or owners can be linked to coaches or mentors. I don’t want to try and defend myself. I only wish I had known that the three players were doing something suspicious, as I would have dealt with it,” he said.