Monday, December 4

‘Players’ first obligation should be to Australia’ – Ian Chappell on IPL 2020 clashing with Sheffield Shield season

Ian Chappell, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) taking place in October-November window is increasingly looking possible as the ICC is set to postpone the T20 World Cup. The tournament was scheduled to be played from October 18 to November 15 but with the ongoing pandemic, it looks practically impossible for the cricketers from 16 countries to come together in Australia.

The BCCI is reportedly looking at the window to organise the IPL, most likely behind the closed doors. But it clashes with Australia’s domestic season in that case. For the same reason, the former Australia cricketer Ian Chappell feels the top players should prefer playing in the Sheffield Shield rather than in the IPL. He feels that the cricketers are obligated to Australia for the amount they get paid from the board.

“Well this is coming from someone who’s never been a fan of the board, but the top players are looked after very well by Cricket Australia these days, so I think there’s an obligation there. It’s also a chance to stand up and say the cricket world isn’t going to be pushed around by India.

“I could mount a case more for a peripheral player who doesn’t earn a lot of money in Australia; if the bulk of his income is going to come from the IPL, well that’s something I would have some sympathy for if I was a CA board member. But the top players are well paid, and that argument doesn’t hold any water. Their obligation should be to Australia,” he said while speaking to Wide World of Sports.

Ian Chappell feels BCCI will retaliate if Australia players don’t play in the IPL

A lot of Australian players feature in the IPL with Pat Cummins becoming the most expensive player of the auction in December last year. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) raked up a whopping amount of Rs 15.5 crore while Glenn Maxwell was also bought by the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for Rs 10.75 crore.

Ian Chappell felt if the players like Steve Smith, Cummins and David Warner refuse to play the IPL, then the BCCI will threaten not to tour Australia later in the year. India are scheduled to tour down under in December this year and a majority of Cricket Australia’s (CA) revenue is dependent on it.

“Well the BCCI might try to retaliate, but it would be pretty stupid, because apart from Australia and India there aren’t too many good Test-playing countries. To me, bully-boy tactics never work long-term, they might work in the short-term, but that’s it,” the 76-year-old added.

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