IPL 2021 vs National Team: In the world of football, the Club vs Country debate has been raging for several decades but thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL), it has reached cricket shores with players having to choose between national commitments and IPL due to big-money contracts. With ICC T20 World Cup approaching, national teams such as Cricket Australia would have liked players to play international matches to prepare for the tournament but rescheduling of the IPL 2021 in the September-October window has forced them to make a decision. Similarly, the likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and others will also need to take a call whether they would play for Australia or go to IPL in UAE.
Cricket Australia is now at loggerheads with players after seven IPL stars including David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins amongst others pulled out of the tours of West Indies and Bangladesh tours having returned from IPL after it was suspended. Australia had to pick several inexperienced faces but it did not deter from warning the players of the possibility of missing out on the ICC T20 World Cup. Australia’s Chairman of Selectors, Trevor Hohns warned that if the newcomers do well, they will be prioritised over stars who have pulled out of the West Indies tour. Limited overs skipper Aaron Finch too has sent similar warnings.
Hohns said he expects players to commit to the national team and not IPL 2021 Phase 2. “Around that time of the year, I would certainly hope so. However, it will certainly depend on their commitments and what we think they should be committing to regarding their Australian commitments at that time,” Hohns was quoted by Cricket.com.au.
Finch said players who have pulled out of West Indies and Bangladesh tours citing bubble fatigue will not be able to justify returning to the IPL 2021 in UAE.
“I think they would find it hard to justify going back and playing that second half of the IPL. Just purely based on the workload coming up with a T20 World Cup and a huge home summer. It’s really tough. It’s a tough situation that everyone has been put in, but personally, I would find it hard to do that knowing how difficult it is and how challenging it is mentally, and on your family as well. That’s what I would think,” Finch said.
But it is not just Cricket Australia that faces the problem. New Zealand Cricket, England & Wales Cricket Board, Bangladesh and Afghanistan Boards are also facing the possibility of missing out on big stars in bilateral cricket.
- New Zealand will play Pakistan during the IPL 2021 window, making it difficult for players to choose between country and big-money contract.
- Three Afghan players — Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will also be faced with a similar decision as Afghanistan will play Pakistan and Ireland in September-October.
- Bangladesh Cricket Board has declined to issue NOC to two IPL stars — Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman as they host England during IPL 2021
- England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Managing Director Ashley Giles was the first to announce that England players — 14 of them — including limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan will not be given NOC to play in the IPL.