Bengaluru, May 13: Former England captain Nasser Hussain lauded IPL for its role in making present day cricketers more complete players than ever before, and also giving them money that can change their lives forever. However, IPL 2020 has been postponed indefinitely due to Coronavirus.
Speaking to Harsha Bhogle in Cricbuzz in Conversation, Hussain said the IPL helps players to handle pressure better.
"Obviously money is important. Some of these figures are life-changing figures. West Indies love the IPL because it gives them sums of money that they can never dream of," said Hussain.
"But you cannot argue that when you go and play in the IPL, you're playing against the best players. You look at all those team sheets, they are like a World XI. Because they are playing in that big crowd, it helps you handle pressure.
"IPL isn't a learning school, it's a finishing school. It finishes you off as a cricketer, those bits that are missing, like playing spin on drier pitches, it helps you learn that and finishes you off as a cricketer," added Hussain.
Hussain cited the example of England's Ben Stokes, who has grown into one of the world's finest all-rounders.
"The two innings that Ben Stokes played in the 2019 summer, at Headingley and in the World Cup final... In Headingley he went into IPL mode when batting with Jack Leach. Some of the shots he played, like the reverse switch hit into the Western Terrace off Lyon, he can't play that unless he's played in the IPL. The World Cup final innings. He can't handle that pressure unless you've been in the pressurized cauldron before," he said.
Hussain also said IPL nourishes friendship among players apart from the development angle.
"You learn from these people around the dressing room. You go to the IPL and you have some great players and some great coaches like Moody and Fleming and Ponting, Also there are stories like Bairstow and Warner. Warner absolutely went at Bairstow at the Ashes before they joined at Hyderabad and they became friends and their partnership at the top of the order was unbelievable. IPL does bring people together. So, when they are next playing, Ben Stokes will realize that Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals teammate) is a pretty decent guy," he added.