IPL chaos creates worrying Ashes dilemma
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed the remainder of the 2021 Indian Premier League will take place in the United Arab Emirates in September and October, creating a dilemma for Cricket Australia.
The IPL was postponed earlier this month after a handful of players and staff contracted Covid-19 in the tournament’s biosecurity bubble.
Almost 40 Australian cricketers, support staff, umpires and commentators have been completing hotel quarantine in Sydney since returning home a fortnight ago.
Watch The England v NZ Test Series Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
On Saturday, the BCCI revealed the T20 competition’s remaining 31 fixtures would be played in the Middle East ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup, scheduled to commence in late October.
However, the three-week T20 bonanza will need to commence after India’s fifth Test against England, which concludes on September 14.
India’s “monsoon season” was cited as the reason for the move, not the country’s coronavirus epidemic which has caused more than 323,000 deaths.
“The decision was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously agreed to resume IPL,” the BCCI statement read.
“The BCCI SGM further authorised the Office Bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.”
If India’s coronavirus situation does not improve, there is a strong possibility the T20 World Cup would also be moved to the UAE.
Wondering how the limited number of UAE pitches would play after around 50 T20 matches. It would certainly be asking a lot of them.
If #IPL2021 does resume on September 19/20 as it’s expected to, will be quite the turnaround for those members of the Indian Test team who’ll finish the last Test on September 14 in Manchester & change into their IPL gear within 5 days in the UAE after some sort of quarantine
The delayed IPL adds another layer of complexity to Australia’s worrying Ashes preparation.
Many of Australia’s Test stars — including David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins — will start the five-match series against England with little red-ball practice under their belt.
Australia’s only scheduled Test match before December’s Gabba Test is against cricket minnows Afghanistan.
Comparatively, England will have already played 13 Tests in 2021 ahead of the Ashes, including nine matches against World No. 1 India.
While Joe Root’s men finetune their starting XI against the world’s best, Australia’s Test talent will be facing the West Indies and Bangladesh in a plethora of one-day clashes.
And instead of partaking in the 2021/22 Sheffield Shield — expected to get underway in early September — most of Australia’s Ashes squad will be playing T20 cricket in the UAE.
Depending on IPL and Sheffield Shield scheduling, the likes of Smith, Cummins and Warner could play just one long-format match during the eight months prior to the Ashes.
David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins could only play one red-ball match before the Ashes.Source:Supplied
Speaking to reporters in March, Australian assistant coach Andrew McDonald indicated that a full-strength white-ball squad would be selected for October’s T20 World Cup.
“I’d say if they’re in the best T20 side or squad they’ll be there and we’ll just have to work out ways to preparing those guys who aren’t playing in the XI at the time,” McDonald said.
“And we’re probably expecting to have extended squads through this Covid period as well. We could end up having, 18, 19, 20 players in the squad as opposed to what we’ve become accustomed with the 15-man squad.
“So I think the squads will be a little bit deeper, therefore you might have some options to train guys in India at the time to get ready for the Ashes as well.”
After several cricketers cited mental fatigue from biosecurity bubbles and hotel quarantine throughout the 2020/21 season, CA will need to decide how to manage the country’s high-profile talent ahead of a jam-packed summer.
Source: Read Full Article