IPL could be a learning opportunity for Aussie players despite a packed schedule and tired players

Russell GouldNCA NewsWire
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National selection chairman George Bailey says playing in the Indian Premier League offers terrific “learning opportunities” for Australian players despite the physical and mental toll playing extra cricket out of bubbles could take in a huge year.

Australian teams are facing the most packed international calendar for two years, with Test and white ball tours to Pakistan and Sri Lanka starting in March and the need to prepare for a T20 World Cup defence on home soil in October.

Star batter David Warner and T20 World Cup hero Mitch Marsh have been rested from an upcoming five-match T20 series against Sri Lanka as selectors eye off the need for “rejuvenation” after constant cricket since last September.

Many players caught in the Big Bash bubble also said they were “cooked” during the lengthy tournament and in need of a break.

But Warner, along with Test captain Pat Cummins, are among 59 Australians who have put their names up for this year’s bumper IPL auction, with only Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis locked in on contracts worth upwards of $2 million.

Fast bowler Mitch Starc, who plays all three formats for Australia, has opted out of the extended IPL this year which features two new teams,

This year’s IPL, which falls during the Australian players’ leave period. could be up to two weeks longer than previous tournaments.

Bailey said there was much to gain from the IPL, on top of the huge financial contracts, and he was happy for Australians to play, particularly in ahead of the T20 title defence and then balance their international duties accordingly.

“It’s tough for the multi-format guys to work out that balance of where do they get time to physically replenish their energy reserves, particularly for fast bowlers,” Bailey said.

“To make sure they are fit, strong and able to deal with the workload.

“But that’s part and parcel of a modern cricketer’s life.

“It (the IPL) continues to be a tournament that offers a huge amount to players.

“From a learning perspective and I don’t think the monetary side of things can be discounted ... for a reasonably brief period of work, the pay days are pretty enormous for a certain percentage of them.”

The IPL is expected to begin on March 27 which is while Australia will still be in Pakistan with three ODIs and a single T20 needed to complete that tour, demanding the presence of white-ball players.

The current fixture also has Australia playing three ODIs in New Zealand during the Test matches against Pakistan.

But the status of that tour is unknown after the Kiwis abandoned a one-day tour of Australia which was supposed to start on January 30.

Originally published as IPL could be a learning opportunity for Aussie players despite a packed schedule and tired players

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