The league vs nation debate is back. This time though in a different way. The much-awaited World Cup will be commencing within 10 days after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it is clear that every country will be wanting their best players to stay fit for the showpiece event. This leaves the IPL in a little bit of a flux with even Virat Kohli wanting to rest the World Cup-bound fast bowlers to be rested for the whole tournament. However, the franchises are unlikely to support this decision.
Kohli has a point as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are India’s top bowlers and they’ve been injury prone in the last few months. But the franchises would want their best bowlers to play in order to win as many games as possible.
“The IPL is starting on March 29 and will finish on May 19. In any case, there will be a 15-day gap before India play their first World Cup game against South Africa on June 5. So there is no chance that pacers can be rested for the entire duration of the IPL,” a senior official was quoted as saying by Times Now on Thursday. Moreover, it is also understood that Rohit Sharma also had a different take when Kohli suggested the idea of resting the pacers during the meeting with CoA.
“When Kohli mooted the idea, CoA chief Vinod Rai asked Rohit about his take. Rohit apparently said, ‘If Mumbai Indians reach Play Offs or finals and if Bumrah happens to be fit, then I cannot afford to rest him,” the official added.
Other concerns raised
Another official termed Kohli’s request as ‘weird’ with the teams’ support staff and physios working in tandem with the national side’s trainers. “It has been a convention for the past few years that IPL trainers and physios work with the Indian team’s support staff on workload management. That will be followed next year as well and in any case, fast bowlers don’t play all the games. The question is more about Bhuvi and Bumrah as Shami, Umesh and Khaleel are not automatic choices for their franchises and may not play all IPL games (minimum 14),” he said.
A counter-query was also raised during the meeting stating that the bowlers might lack the match practice after missing the entire tournament. “Virat wants his two premier fast bowlers to be rested for the IPL but it could well be counter-productive as they will be out of match practice for two months before the World Cup,” he further added.