IPL is being scheduled very close to the World Cup this year. BCCI will have to see the itinerary and make decisions about how to manage the workload of the Indian players. IPL is a big tournament and the cash riches that are associated with it makes it lucrative for every party involved. The sponsors want the best players on the field as that will bring more people to the stadiums, highers TRPs and eventually more moolah.
But cricket players at the end of the day are humans and a human body has its limitations. People might argue that IPL is, after all, a T20 format which is the shortest form of the game but they forget that playing in the IPL does not only mean that you have to turn up at the ground during the match. The travel that is involved and the crammed schedule with doubleheaders being played every weekend. The training schedules and the intensity on the field where you have to be mentally switched on takes a lot out of you.
IPL starts on March 23. BCCI has only announced the schedule for the first two weeks keeping in mind that the general elections have not been announced and the rest of the schedule has to be moved around it. The problem with elections and IPL at the same time is that the police support and government facilities are not available at the time of elections. The security scenario now-a-days makes it impossible to conduct any sporting event leave alone IPL to be conducted without security clearance from the authorities.
England cricket board and Cricket Australia have already announced that their players would not be available post-May 1 keeping in mind the fitness and preparation for the world cup. BCCI will have to manage the Indian players who are going to the world cup in the same manner. If one of the key players get injured during the IPL then it can dent India’s chances badly during the world cup. India and England are the favourites for the world cup but the availability of the best players is a must for the teams.
But the availability of the players is not only in the hands of the Indian board as the owners and the sponsors with the broadcasters will be looking to have the best players on the field. This is a call that BCCI will have to take whether IPL this time can be a shortened tournament or it can be staged earlier at a foreign location like it did in 2009 and 2014. We are all waiting with eagerness as fans as we want to see the best players on the ground every single time.