The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises are facing a potential clash over the issue of player workload management. According to a report by The Telegraph, one franchise has informed them that the BCCI “cannot direct them to rest a player.” The report suggests that many franchises are currently unclear about the BCCI’s statement on workload management, and the board will soon be calling a franchise meeting to address the matter.
A franchise official, who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity, stated that “the BCCI cannot direct a franchise to rest a player unless he is unfit. After all, the players have a contract with the franchises.” The official added that “the franchises also hire physios and masseurs who have worked with national teams earlier and so there’s nothing to panic for the BCCI.”
The BCCI made a statement about workload management during its review meeting with the Team India management on New Year’s Day. The board stated that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) would be working in tandem with the IPL franchises to monitor the targeted Indian players participating in the IPL 2023. This decision was made for two reasons. Firstly, due to India’s recent poor performance at the ICC T20 World Cup, and secondly, as this year is also the ICC ODI World Cup year, the BCCI wants to manage the workload of the players in preparation for the tournament.
The 50-over World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in October-November, and the BCCI wants to ensure that all the shortlisted players are fresh and ready for the event. However, the BCCI’s directive seems to have not been received well by the IPL franchises. When asked for a comment, Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore stated that “there’s nothing official about it. The BCCI hasn’t told us anything. It wouldn’t be proper to make a comment on the basis of media reports.”
To resolve any confusion, the board will now be calling for a franchise meeting. The meeting will provide a briefing for the franchises on how the NCA intends to monitor the players’ fitness. The board had previously announced that it would choose a pool of 20-25 players, whose workload will also be monitored during the IPL 2023.
Other cricket boards, such as the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia, have similar arrangements with the IPL franchises. The franchises adhere to these agreements as they are part of the players’ No Objection Certificates. This includes limitations on the number of overs a particular player can bowl in a match and during a net session in the IPL. Any fitness-related issues must be directly reported to the relevant board by the franchise, which will then take a decision on the player’s participation.
The recent spate of injuries to Indian cricketers has prompted the BCCI to take this step. Players such as Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and others have been forced to miss important events due to injury. The injuries to key players have negatively impacted India’s progress in big ICC events and have frustrated the BCCI.
Jadeja is expected to return to action during the upcoming Test series against Australia next month. However, as previously reported by InsideSport, Jasprit Bumrah is almost ruled out of the India vs Australia Test series, having been absent from cricket since September.
The board now wants to meet with the franchises and explain to them how the workload of the main players needs to be managed during the IPL 2023