Australia stars to join IPL late
|| CF DESK ||
The big-name players who will miss the next limited-overs matches in Pakistan will not be eligible for their respective Indian Premier League clubs until their international commitment is completed, according to Australia men's team selection chair George Bailey.
Pat Cummins, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood, and Glenn Maxwell were noticeable omissions from Australia's 16-man squad announced today for the three One-Day Internationals and one Twenty-20 International that will follow next month's three Tests on the Qantas Tour of Pakistan.
"We certainly won't be releasing players to the IPL while Australia are playing", Bailey noted he remained supportive of Australian cricketers' involvement in the game's most lucrative domestic tournament because of the skill development it fosters.
While Maxwell was unable to travel to Pakistan for Australia's first complete international tour since 1998 due to his impending wedding, the remaining trio (along with fast bowler Mitchell Starc) will return home after the Tests and before beginning their IPL contracts.
Although the IPL schedule for this year has yet to be announced, it is expected to begin on the last weekend of March, only days before the first ODI between Pakistan and Australia in Rawalpindi.
As a result, Australia's representatives would not be able to participate in the two-month event until the bilateral T20I in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, is concluded on April 5.
"We've worked really hard with our multi-format players over a long period, and not just this (Pakistan) series coming up that leads into the IPL. One of the things we're really keen to ensure is that we can maintain having our best Australian players playing for Australia for as long as possible, medium and longer-term,” Bailey said.
"We're constantly managing and working with them around their own personal situations to make sure they get what they need, and also that we can continue to get what we need. So from that point of view, the NSP (national selection panel) will continue to be quite pragmatic around how we approach each series," he added.
However, amid juggling the need for rest and respite among all-format players such as Cummins, Hazlewood and Warner, Bailey sees a benefit beyond the purely commercial for players' involvement in the IPL which continues to operate largely free from scheduling conflict with international fixtures.
"I fully respect the IPL as a tournament," Bailey said when asked about the perpetual question as to whether players should prioritise country or cash. I think they're at the forefront of the T20 game. I think it's been a really important tournament for the skill development of some of our players, so it's important not to underestimate that going forward."