Popular Twenty20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) became a rage across the country as soon as they were introduced, but controversies soon followed. Legendary Australian pacer Glenn McGrath says the new format is not spoiling cricketers, but warns budding sportsmen against gloating over their success.

“I don’t feel it (IPL or BBL-Big Bash League) is spoiling budding cricketers. I think the important thing for budding cricketers is to always put in 100 per cent — to continue to be your best, work hard, don’t ever think you are at the top of your ability, you can always improve,” McGrath told IANS in an email interview.

McGrath, considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricketing history, had, in an earlier interview, blamed quick money for spoiling fast bowlers across the world. Now, he thinks differently.

Whether on or off the field, the McGarth saga is inspiring. A member of all three teams that enabled Australia complete a World Cup treble, he also holds the record for the highest number of Test wickets – 563 – by a quickie (average 21.64) in the 124 Tests he played between 1993 and 2007. He also turned out in 250 ODIs, scalping 381 victims.

Now, he says he does not “miss playing cricket at all”, since he has “a wonderful family which takes up most of my time, along with the McGrath Foundation in Australia”.

He is busy creating a place for himself outside the field of cricket — be it through his association with wine brand Hardy Wines, handling the MRF Pace Foundation, Chennai, or as the co-founder and president of the McGrath Foundation, a breast cancer support and education charity he founded with his first wife Jane, who died of the disease in 2008.

“Since retirement, I have been given me the opportunity to spend time with my family. I have three children, aged 16, 14 and one. That is what is really important to me. I have also done a little commentating in Australia and am part of the MRF academy in Chennai,” he said.

McGrath also said that he is proud to be associated with Hardys because of its history and heritage.

“Their consistency and quality when it comes to wine-making has synergy with my cricketing career. So, it made a lot sense for me to represent them, especially in India,” he said, pointing to the country’s booming wine culture.

McGrath, who was inducted into ICC Hall of fame in January 2013, said: “There are more people enjoying wine in India, they are interested in exploring new things and I think wine is part of that journey.”

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at [email protected])

By Sugandha Rawal

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