The upcoming season of the Indian T20 League will have extra eyes as the Indian Cricket Board fears potential injuries due to the additional workload posed by the burdensome tournament. At the end of a review meeting on Sunday, for the first time, the cricket Board revealed officially that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will work in tandem with the cash-rich league franchises to monitor the pool of 20 players who will be in the frame for the 50-over World Cup which is less than 10 months away.
According to some sources in the know, there have been instances where at least a couple of big franchises have refused to share data with the NCA in the past. And if one assumes that the NCA will indeed monitor the workload, it would be interesting to see how they go about it.
“The Indian Cricket Board cannot ask the franchises to rest a player for any Indian T20 League game. They can of course monitor the workload and ask for any data to be shared, but they cannot fix a cap and say a certain player can play only X number of matches or can bowl only X number of overs.” a franchise official was quoted as saying.
How will the Indian Cricket Board push the franchises?
While the key recommendations do look strong on paper, only time will tell how far the Indian Cricket Board will be able to push the franchises. Technically, during the tournament window, the players are in contract with the franchises and not the board and unlike Cricket Australia (CA) and England Cricket Board (ECB), this reality will forbid the Indian Cricket Board from passing any diktats with regard to workload management. So there are some loose ends for the official board to tie up if this program has to work, which is no doubt taken in the best interest of Indian cricket.
With the 50-over World Cup taking precedence and India still a long way from putting together a unit that will deliver the expectations on home soil, the Indian Cricket Board has set in motion a roadmap for the next year. In a season packed with a long Indian T20 League followed closely by the all-important World Cup at home, the board and franchisees will need to be on the same page regarding preserving players, if India has to repeat the 2011 feat.
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