New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Former India batsman VVS Laxman has rejected the claims made by Michael Clarke wherein he said that Australian players were too scared to “sledge” Virat Kohli during the 2018/19 Test series and in order to protect their million dollars IPL deals, they “sucked up” to the India captain which resulted in their cricket becoming “soft”.

“If you’re friendly with any Indian player it doesn’t mean that you are getting IPL contract,” Laxman said while speaking on Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’ show.

“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,” he added.

Kohli’s men had become the first-ever Indian team to register a Test series win in Australia in 2018-19. It was the first time since 1947, that India were able to register a Test series victory in Down Under as they defeated the Tim Paine-led side 2-1 in the four-match rubber.

“Just by being nice to someone doesn’t get you a place in IPL. Any franchise will look at the player’s calibre and value add to the team, which gives them desired results by winning matches/tournaments,” Laxman said.

“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,” he added.

Paine had also rubbished Clarke’s remark and told ESPNcricinfo: “I certainly didn’t notice too many people being that nice to Virat or not trying to get him out or anything like that.”

“I thought everyone who had the ball in their hand or when we were batting were trying their absolute best to win the game for Australia. I’m not sure who was going easy on him; we certainly had a thing where we didn’t want to provoke any fight with him because we think that’s when he plays at his best,” Paine said.




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