INDIA'S LIMITED OVERS captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped him and several other cricketers a lot, allowing them to come together and break the ice irrespective of their nationalities.
"The IPL really helped us to get to know the culture of players from other countries, especially off the field. It is very important to know the players off the field as on it they are aggressive while off the field you really get to know the person they are," Dhoni said at McDowell's No.1 Soda 'Yaari' event in New Delhi.
"IPL helped me a lot to know about these players and how to behave or act with them. It helped me understand their mindset. When you share the dressing room with all these players, you have to understand the requirement of each and every player."
The wicketkeeper-batsman added that because of IPL, sledging has been reduced to "friendly banter" in today's game.
"We play a gentleman's game. We want to win but have to do it in the right way. IPL has taken the ugly sledging away from cricket. Friendly banter is good and that's what these Twenty20 leagues have done, really helped the cricketers in streamlining what was known as sledging," added the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper.
"IPL has also helped different players from different cultures come together and share the same dressing room. It got me closer to many individuals whom I might not have interacted with otherwise as I am shy guy. My equation with many players has improved just because of IPL."
West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle was also present at the promotional event, and the destructive batsman shared Dhoni's thoughts on stage. The Jamaican, who shares a great rapport with Dhoni, not only mimicked the Indian skipper's trademark helicopter shot on stage but also agreed with his thoughts on the IPL. He said he enjoys friendly sledging with his Carribean teammate Kieron Pollard, who plays for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The explosive Royal Challengers batsman said said that he got to know Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc only through the IPL and such things are good for the game.
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