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Laxman hits back at Clarke, says just being nice doesn’t guarantee a place in IPL

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Former India batsman VVS Laxman took a jibe at Michael Clarke for his recent claims that Australian cricketers “sucked up” to India captain Virat Kohli for protecting their IPL contracts, saying just being nice to someone doesn’t guarantee a spot in the cash-rich tournament.

Clarke, a former Australian captain, raised several eyebrows after he claimed that there was a phase when Australian cricketers were so keen on protecting their IPL deals that they felt “scared” of sledging India skipper Kohli and his teammates and instead “sucked up” to them.

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“Just by being nice to someone doesn’t get you a place in IPL,” Laxman, who also mentors IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad told Star Sports on its show ‘Cricket Connected’.

“Any franchise will look at the player’s caliber and value add to the team, which gives them desired results by winning matches/tournaments. These are the kind of players who get IPL contracts. So just being nice to someone will not earn you a spot in the IPL.”

Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, said as a mentor when he is on the auction table, those players are looked at who do exceptionally well for their country.

“If you’re friendly with any Indian player it doesn’t mean that you are getting IPL contract. As a mentor, I’m on the auction table and we select players, those international players that have played exceptionally well for their country and can add value to the franchise.

“Friendship with any Indian player doesn’t ensure entry into the IPL,” Laxman, who amassed 8,781 Test runs, said without mincing any words.

Former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth also shot back at Clarke, terming his comments as “ridiculous”.

Srikkanth, who was part of the 1983 World Cup winning Indian team, said matches are not won by sledging.

“You do not win matches just by sledging. Aussie’s loss is a loss, his statement was ridiculous I would say,” said 60-year-old Srikkanth.

Srikkanth, himself an aggressive player, said that sledging cannot help in any way.

Also Read: Not sure who was going easy on Kohli to protect IPL contracts: Paine on Clarke’s comments

“If you ask Nasser Hussain or Sir Vivian Richards who are experienced players, you can never score runs or get wickets through sledging. You need to play good cricket and showcase determination; you need to bowl well to get wickets and bat well to achieve targets. Sledging cannot help in any way according to my opinion,” he said.

Australian Test skipper Tim Paine had earlier hit back at Clarke, saying his team avoided provoking “any fight” with Kohli as part of its strategy to keep the Indian captain’s bat quiet, not a ploy to save IPL contracts.