The Power of IPL.
The 12th edition of the most lucrative Twenty20 league in the world, the IPL, will be played between March 29 and May 19, 2019. Its schedule has been brought forward to accommodate the 50-overs Cricket World Cup which begins in England from May 30, 2019. But its effect has already becoming visible as Cricket Australia struggles to plan its schedule.
This adjustment has affected the beginning of 2019 domestic and international schedule of Cricket Australia. The issues involved are:
– The Sheffield Shield final is to be concluded by April 1
– Australia are scheduled to play a one-day series against Pakistan that could overlap with the start of the IPL, possibly March 15-29.
– Ashes tour of England begins in August.
-The 2019 IPL auction is due to take place in December. Aussie players are often in demand on big-money contracts.
Cricket Australia (CA) need to have 15 fit players to defend the World Cup it had won four years ago. They will have to attend a mandatory training camp in early May and play warm-up matches. Players involved in the Sheffield Shield final will only be available for release after April 1.
CA places conditions on IPL release for its top players.
In view of such a scenario, the CA has announced a series of conditions for the players to play in the IPL. Its governing body said in a statement, “All players granted permission to play would have to be available to play at the World Cup and on the Ashes tour of England.” It has duly informed the players they will have to miss part of next year’s Indian Premier League if they are selected in the squad for the World Cup.
Australian cricketers, like other overseas players, can earn more than $1 million for one stint in the IPL. Earlier, both Steve Smith and David Warner had secured $1.7 million in the last year’s IPL auction.
CA’s Belinda Clark, a former captain of the Australian women’s team, said, “We are committed to respecting the position of the Sheffield Shield, while ensuring Australia’s World Cup squad is well prepared for this critical world event, while also ensuring those that are fit to play have opportunity to participate in the IPL. While this is no easy feat, I think we have managed a reasonable balance that will enable the players to consider their options and choose what is right for them and their respective teams.”
One natural conclusion can be derived from this CA decision. The CA does not view playing in the IPL also as a part of World Cup training and preparation. This opportunity could have been made equal to or better than a mandatory training camp and warm-up matches at home where, despite the best available resources, it is not possible to bring in the most vital ingredient – the “International” color. The CA also seems to be not interested in the monetary benefits and brand value enhancement that would accrue. By diminishing its participation in the IPL, CA may lose more and gain little.
“It is imperative that we ensure Australia is in the best possible position as we head into the Cricket World Cup and the 2019 Ashes series,” Clark added. “This means prioritising our focus on match readiness and the health of our players.”