A day after sources from Committee of Administrators (CoA) indicated that they will not allow Indian fast bowlers to skip the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, who had demanded rest for their pacers, may very well have the last laugh, though, in a different way.
According to ESPNCricinfo, it is reported that the above requests by Kohli and Shastri may not be adhered to, given it would need the consent of all the IPL teams. But the BCCI may very well allow Indian pacers adequate rest before World Cup by starting the IPL earlier than expected.
Kohli had requested that Indian pace bowlers should get at least two weeks of break ahead of the World Cup 2019. The IPL was scheduled to begin on March 29 and conclude on May 19, just 11 days before the World Cup commences. But now, it is expected that the IPL will begin on March 23, so that the tournament ends with Indian players getting more than two weeks to prepare themselves.
During a recent meeting of the CoA in Hyderabad, Kohli suggested resting pacers, especially Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, from the entire IPL to keep them fresh for the World Cup. However, the India captain didn't find too many backers for his proposal as Board officials said franchises are unlikely to agree.
"The IPL is starting on March 29 and will finish on May 19. In any case, there will be a 15-day gap before India play their first World Cup game against South Africa on June 5. So there is no chance that pacers can be rested for the entire duration of the IPL," a senior official, who was present in the meeting, told PTI on Thursday.
In fact, limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who was present in the meeting, also had a different take.
"When Kohli mooted the idea, CoA chief Vinod Rai asked Rohit about his take. Rohit apparently said, 'If Mumbai Indians reach Play Offs or finals and if Bumrah happens to be fit, then I cannot afford to rest him'," the official said.
Another official, who was present in the meeting, said it was "weird" that the Indian skipper was asking for all the key pacers to be rested from the IPL.
"It has been a convention for the past few years that IPL trainers and physios work with the Indian team's support staff on workload management. That will be followed next year as well and in any case, fast bowlers don't play all the games" the official said.
(With inputs from PTI)