The BCCI will monitor a selected pool of 20 players during IPL 2023 with an eye on the home ODI World Cup later this year. | Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K
In its review meeting on Sunday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will work in tandem with the Indian Premier League franchises to monitor the ‘targeted Indian players’ participating in the forthcoming edition of the tournament.
While the Board did not specify in its statement, Sportstar understands that this refers mostly to the pool of 20 players who will be rotated before the 50-over World Cup, to be held in India in October-November.
The decision comes after several key players missed a large amount of game time due to injuries last year. After taking charge as the president of the BCCI, Roger Binny had said that “players getting frequently injured is a concern, and we wish to get to the bottom of it all and see how it can be changed for the better.”
During the meeting on Sunday – attended by Binny via video conferencing along with secretary Jay Shah, head coach Rahul Dravid, NCA chief VVS Laxman and outgoing national selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma – the Board has decided to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the players, who are part of the pool, are well protected with the big-ticket event lined up this year.
Of NOC and flexibility
This effectively means that if it wants, the BCCI could control the participation of Indian players in the IPL, and the No Objection Certificate for bowlers could come with do’s and don’ts. However, Sportstar understands that for the moment, the Board wants to be flexible in terms of allowing its senior cricketers to feature in the tournament.
Rather, the idea is to ensure that they – especially the bowlers – maintain a balance and stress on workload management during the IPL, so that they don’t have to miss any international assignments later on. The NCA will regularly monitor their fitness issues and keep a tab on their injuries and plan a rehab process accordingly.
The franchises have not been informed anything formally yet, but a few franchise top brass this publication spoke to, indicated that as and when they hear from the Board formally, they will do ‘everything possible’ to ensure that the players are well taken care of.
“We will abide by all the protocols. Even ahead of the 2019 World Cup, the franchises regularly coordinated with the BCCI medical team and ensured that the workload of the World Cup-bound players were maintained well. This time, too, we will follow the BCCI’s protocols,” a franchise insider said.
The injury of Jasprit Bumrah ahead of last year’s T20 World Cup triggered a debate on whether India’s star cricketers should be given the option of resting in the IPL.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri had said that resting a top India player for a few games in the IPL is something that Binny must look into, while a section of former cricketers thought that it was important to strike the right balance.
In the 2021-22 season, 70 players – including 23 from the senior men’s national team – visited the NCA for injury-related issues, and this time around, the NCA’s medical team has submitted a roadmap on workload and injury management, and the focus has once again been given on the Yo-Yo test and Dexa scans.
The IPL is set to begin in the first week of April.
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