Is the BCCI right in organizing IPL 2019 just before the start of the World Cup?
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is just around the corner. India, along with the hosts England, are considered the favourites to lift the trophy, and they have both been striving desperately to arrive at the right team combination for the showpiece event.
India seem to have got a well-balanced team on paper. Virat Kohli leads them with the bat and Jasprit Bumrah is their star bowler. But what will happen if either of them is forced out of the World Cup squad due to an injury?
Injuries are a part and parcel of any sport, but with a hectic tournament like the IPL just before the World Cup, the chances of players breaking down are enhanced considerably.
The World Cup has been the talk of the town. Teams are busy preparing themselves for this mega event, and some have refused to allow their players to play IPL. Some players, meanwhile, have voluntarily opted out of the T20 league, while some will feature only in limited matches.
It goes without saying that the star value of the IPL will be less this time around. But the big question is whether the Indian players selected for the World Cup should play the entire IPL.
After so many star foreign players making themselves unavailable for IPL 2019, if the Indian players also back out, then it would be make the league a rather dull affair. But considering all the factors and the injury risks - not only for the Indian players but also for the foreigners, the million dollar question that needs to be asked is: is the IPL such a big tournament that it can't be skipped for one year?
There were two possible solutions to this. Either the BCCI should have asked the Indian players to play only a portion of the IPL, or better still, they should have organized a sort of mini-IPL around October. But now it's unlikely that either of those things will happen.
Some may argue that the IPL will provide valuable match practice to the players before the prestigious World Cup. That it certainly will, but then again ANY series would have done the same job - even a small tri-nation tournament or a few bilateral series. A rigorous event like the IPL just seems like a lot of effort for very little reward.
If all 15 Indian players earmarked for the World Cup can survive the IPL without any injury, then the decision will be deemed worthwhile. But is the IPL worth taking such a gamble for, even if the gamble pays off in the end? That's a question only the BCCI can answer.
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