- BCCI is set to cram in three more tournaments in an already hectic schedule for the Indian cricket team
- While senior players are getting tired and injured due to IPL, junior players are not getting opportunities in the franchise-based league
- BCCI needs to work out a rotation policy where it could rest its senior players in IPL to provide opportunities to juniors
No matter what you think of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the observable reality is that it has placed BCCI as the richest sporting body in the world. But is that all it was supposed to do? The answer is no. The next step of its progression should be making it more welcoming for new talents.
Three more tournaments before the world cup for the Indian team
BCCI is set to cram in three more tournaments in an already hectic schedule for Rohit Sharma led Indian cricket team. According to a report by the Times of India, BCCI wants Indian players to bear the brunt of their noble cause of helping other nations generate more revenues.
If BCCI gives a green signal to proposed tours, then the Indian team won’t have a moment to breathe ahead of the T20 world cup starting on October 16. Just after the series with Sri Lanka ends in March, Indian players will be busy with their IPL franchises till the first week of May.
After the IPL, the Indian team will play a five-match series against South Africa till June 19. After Proteas’ series, the team with be touring England in July. Without taking a breather, the Indian team is expected to travel to West Indies, Zimbabwe and UAE for different tournaments. Remarkably, all these three venues have dry and slow wickets, contrary to what the Indian team will be getting for the T20 world cup in Australia.
U-19 players not eligible for IPL
It’s not that India does not have the bench strength to send a competent XI. The question is why the best in business are sucked by tiring IPL but youth are not getting ample opportunity in the multi-billion league. Believe it or not, as many as 8 players of the world champion Indian U-19 team were not eligible for IPL auction 2022.
U-19 Vice-captain Dinesh Banahaik Rasheed, left-arm pacer Ravi Kumar, all-rounders Nishant Sindhu and Siddarth Yadav, opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Manav Parakh and Garv Sangwan are unfortunate talents to miss the tournament. According to rules, set by BCCI, a player whose age is less than 19 needs to play in domestic cricket to be eligible for IPL. It is pertinent to note that no matter how much glamour is surrounding U-19, its level is much lower than domestic cricket.
Foreign leagues promote youth while IPL does the opposite
While IPL is dissuading youngsters and exhausting its best ones, all other boards are promoting their youth in their respective leagues. In other tournaments such as Australia’s BBL, English Natwest T20, South Africa’s Betway T20 league you will find local youth making up for a major chunk of players in tournaments.
In fact, key players of their national teams make way for these youngsters by taking a rest during these tournaments. Additionally, Cricket boards are also considerate of the big players choosing to rest. Moreover, you can also find their international team playing their matches amid these leagues. BCCI can do the same. In fact, BCCI’s strong cash reserve offers it much more leeway compared to other boards.
Rotation policy in IPL
One key concern for BCCI is that IPL may lose relevancy in the wake of their own players being absent. However, nobody is suggesting the total elimination of Indian stars from the league. A rotation policy could be established where Indian stars could be replaced by young players for a brief period.
This will provide youngsters ample time to hone their skills and test them in a real environment of an actual crowd. Currently, most youngsters have to toil hard for a few years before they get their first opportunity for their franchises. The rotation policy will ensure that seniors get enough rest while juniors get much-awaited opportunities.
Team needs rest
The Indian cricket team is massively overworked. Tours after tours are ruining their freshness. Despite a massive pool of youngsters available to pick the playing XI, players are getting injured on regular basis.
Fatigues of bio-bubble in the wake of China induced Covid-19 has compounded the trouble. In the wake of so much trouble, it is time to tinker with the existing structure of IPL to make it more friendly for youth.