Australia’s white-ball cricket captain Aaron Finch has “honestly not thought about” whether players will be able to head back to the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) when the tournament resumes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this year.
IPL-14 was suspended in early May after an increase in coronavirus cases among players and support staff. The second half of the Twenty20 (T20) tournament will take place in September and October and is set to finish days before the start of the T20 World Cup, which is also likely to be moved to the UAE. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has time till June 28 to decide if the showpiece event can be held as scheduled in the country.
Asked if Australian players will resume their IPL stints, Finch said, “I would imagine it would be conducted on a case-by-case basis by Cricket Australia.”
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s newly-appointed chief executive, had earlier said the board had yet to start discussions over players’ IPL availability.
While England has rested its multi-format players from select sections of tours to better manage the lengthy stints in various biosecure bubbles, Finch is “not sure” if the same model will work for Australia. “I don’t think the players themselves like resting from international cricket,” he said. “But definitely, with the increased squad sizes due to Covid bubbles, there are a lot of players on tours, so we will need to look at options to ensure these players are playing games.”
Australia has announced a preliminary squad of 23 for a West Indies tour in July, which includes five T20 Internationals (T20Is) and three One-Day Internationals. The team is then scheduled to fly to Bangladesh for five T20Is.
Marnus Labuschagne, who is on an English county stint with Glamorgan, will be a notable absentee. “Marnus is a wonderful player and has continued to show what he is capable of in T20 cricket,” Finch said. “There is also an Ashes series coming up this summer, and Marnus is playing four-day cricket in England, which is vital for his Test preparations for the summer,” he added.