5 Australian players who should be protected during IPL 2019
The Twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League is all set for an early kick-off, keeping in mind the General elections in India and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Previously, the 2009 (South Africa) and 2014 editions ( UAE, partially) of the IPL were moved out of India due to the Indian General elections.
With the 2019 World Cup too slated to begin on May 30, all cricket boards want the league to end early (first half of May) so that their players would be fresh ahead of the mega quadrennial event to be hosted by England and Wales from May 30- July 14.
It is understandable that the cricket boards of the participating nations are more concerned about the fatigue factor, which might hinder the performances of the players at the World Cup.
Though the two general elections were held during the league, the two World Cups (2011 and 2015) were held before the respective seasons but it won't be the case this time around. With the venue and exact dates not yet confirmed, it would be interesting to see how the BCCI tackles the situations.
On the team management's part, it is their responsibility to protect their players to keep them in shape for the World Cup. But for the franchises, it would be a huge loss if some of their star players leave the tournament mid-way.
Cricket Australia, which has put up certain guidelines for its players participating in IPL 2019 wants them to get the No Objection Certificates, join their IPL teams after the Sheffield Shield final (April 1, if their sides qualify), play in the ODI series against Pakistan and return for Pre-World Cup camp in Early May.
As usual, several Australian players will be in action in the next year's IPL. Let us now look at five players who should be protected during IPL 2019.
Warner, who was one of the three Australian players to be involved in the Sandpaper gate (ball-tampering scandal against South Africa) earlier this year will be returning to action in March next year as his one-year ban ends on March 27, 2019.
With the Sunrisers Hyderabad retaining the 2016 IPL winning skipper, having released openers Shikhar Dhawan and Alex Hales, Warner will be pivotal for the Men in Orange at the top.
The Aussie batsman's absence did not hinder their batting performance last season thanks mainly to skipper, Kane Williamson who finished the season with 735 runs in 17 matches, thereby winning the Orange Cap for most runs. But with less opening options, Warner's return might provide them with the much-needed firepower at the top.
The fans of Sunrisers too will be hoping to see their regular skipper in action after one-year hiatus. But, with Warner being very much in the plans for Australia's World Cup squad, he needs to be protected during the 2019 IPL.