Cricket Australia sets strict guidelines for players in IPL
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The participation of Australia’s top cricketers in the next Indian Premier League season will be heavily restricted for anyone selected in the World Cup squad or involved in the Sheffield Shield domestic first-class final.
The IPL is being moved up to start on March 29 because of the Cricket World Cup, which begins in England on May 30.
Cricket Australia’s interim team performance manager Belinda Clark is getting on the front foot in the week after being appointed to replace Pat Howard.
The former national women’s team captain said all Australian players who hope to play in the IPL will need a “No Objection Certificate” from the sport’s national governing body.
“It is a difficult period with the IPL being brought forward to accommodate the Cricket World Cup, and overlapping our domestic season,” Clark said in a statement Thursday. “We will, as always, assess applications on a case-by-case basis but it is important the players understand our position in advance, so they have the clarity they need to make personal decisions.”
The IPL is a lucrative, annual six-week Twenty20 tournament that attracts many of the world’s leading players on big contracts for Indian franchises but is considered a domestic competition by the sport’s governing bodies and, therefore, international obligations are prioritized by most countries and players.
Cricket Australia said approval for the IPL will be given to players after the last round of the Sheffield Shield in late March, as long as those players aren’t participating in the final from March 28 to April 1.
Australian players who are released for the IPL will be expected to be available if selected for the Cricket World Cup and the subsequent Ashes series in England.
The Australians are defending World Cup champions and have won five titles and been runners-up twice in the 11 editions to date, but are languishing in the ODI rankings after back-to-back series losses to Pakistan and South Africa and have an unsettled squad.
Australia’s World Cup squad will be announced on April 23, meaning any IPL team which choses an Australian player could lose him for the latter stages of the Twenty20 tournament in India. The IPL final is May 19.