A review meeting was convened by the Indian Cricket Board on Sunday. In preparation for the 2023 ODI World Cup, BCCI made a big decision on workload management considering the key Indian players.
When it comes to workload management for targeted Indian players for the 2023 World Cup, is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on a collision course with the Indian Premier League franchises?
In a review meeting held on Sunday, the BCCI revealed for the first time that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will monitor the pool of 20 players who will be in contention for the upcoming 50-over World Cup in less than 10 months by working in tandem with the IPL franchises.
IPL franchises follow similar agreements with players who play for Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board.
The BCCI keeping tabs on IPL players’ workloads over the last couple of years, when T20 World Cups were organized consecutively. In spite of franchises refusing to give BCCI and NCA teams direct access to players, reports share periodically between the two organizations.
It was recently announced by the BCCI that it will “monitor the targeted Indian players taking part in the IPL 2023.” However, the press release did not provide enough clarity about whether performances or workload will monitor.
Senior BCCI officials refused to elaborate on the same when asked for broad contours.
It would be interesting to see how the BCCI approaches workload. Although CA and ECB ask franchises to share data regularly, some of their all-rounders and fast bowlers arrive at the IPL with a limit on the number of overs they can deliver during their stint, which includes both net sessions and matches. The NOCs hand out to players as part of the mandatory participation process by these member boards.
Franchises have not been welcoming of the idea of BCCI monitoring players’ workloads in the past. Therefore, whether a similar system could work for Indian players is a big question. Just hours after then BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reveal Rohit Sharma is not considered for the Australia tour due to a hamstring injury. However, the Mumbai Indians opener takes the field against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2020 IPL.
The NCA has been refused data sharing by at least a few big franchises in the past, according to reliable sources. It would be interesting to see how the NCA would monitor the workload if this is indeed the case.
It is not permissible for the BCCI to request franchises to rest players for any IPL game. While they could monitor the workload and request data, they cannot set a cap. And restrict a player to play only a certain number of matches. Or, bowl only a certain number of overs.” an official of the franchise said.
Even though BCCI’s key recommendations appear strong on paper, only time will tell how far it can push franchisees. While the players are technically under contract with the franchises during the tournament window, unlike CA and ECB. This reality prevents the BCCI from dictating how workload should be managed during the tournament window. For the BCCI to assure that this program succeeds. Even, there are a few loose ends that need to be tucked away. Also, which is no doubt in the best interests of Indian cricket.
During different stages of the tournament, India’s key players were either resting or requesting a break. So, until the Asia Cup in September, the team management was unable to take the field. But with the regulars and exited in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar questioned why the players skipped national commitments instead of taking a break during the IPL.
The BCCI has put into motion a roadmap for the next year, with the 50-over World Cup taking precedence. To repeat the 2011 achievement, the board and franchisees will need to be on the same page. It is regarding preserving players during a season that includes the long IPL and the World Cup at home.
Over the discussion of the performance of the 2022 T20 World Cup, BCCI President Mr. Roger Binny, and Honorary Secretary Mr. Jay Shah. Also, Indian Captain Mr. Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid, Head of Cricket (NCA) Mr. VVS Laxman, and Chairman of Senior Men Selection Committee Mr. Chetan Sharma attended the review meeting.