The fact that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has given a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) will work well for the West Indies.
This, according to former manager of the West Indies team Omar Khan. In the next FTP cycle (2019-23), the IPL is the only domestic Twenty20 league during which all international cricket will come to a halt, for a period of two months, across April and May.
Though that has more or less been the case since the IPL began in 2008, an internal ICC document, which lists and dates all the major tournaments in the 2019-23 cycle, includes dates for the IPL alongside major ICC events such as the World Cup, the Champions Trophy and the World T20.
According to the dates submitted by the BCCI, which are with the ICC and have been identified in the new FTP, the IPL will be played each year from around the end of March until the end of May. Over five seasons, the only international cricket that might coincide with the league are two series featuring Ireland against Zimbabwe and one where England play a three-ODI series against Netherlands, the 13th-ranked side in the ODI league.
Over ten years, the IPL has become the most lucrative and powerful cricket tournament not just for the BCCI, but also for a host of the world’s best players, many of whom have not shied away from foregoing international assignments to play in the league. But despite its growing impact on the international calendar, the BCCI and ICC have both been against recognising an exclusive window in the international calendar, mostly because doing so would mean it would need to consider a similar allowance for the otherdomestic T20 tournaments around the world.
However, it would appear that both the Indian board and the ICC have shifted from that stance. Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s general manager of cricket, was in India to meet Rahul Johri, the BCCI’s chief executive officer, in November to discuss the FTP in preparation for the ICC scheduling workshop in Singapore, which was held on December 7 and 8. At the workshop, where member countries fleshed out a week-by-week schedule of the new FTP, the April-May period has been left blank.
Khan said :”This has to be good news for the West Indies because many of our top players ply their trade in the IPL. When countries play the West Indies around this time, our side is normally depleted and this cannot be good. One can understand the frustration of CWI in wanting their best team but also the players for maximising their earnings. We have to understand that these players have a shelf life and they want to make sure they are financially secure.”
Khan however added that players must also make a choice about how many leagues around the world they want to play in because playing in all is a bit too much. “Everywhere a T20 league pops up we have players going there but we must understand that not all the leagues they can play in. Now with CWI offering a much better pay packet, they can reconsider their movements and look to make themselves available on a more regular basis to play for the West Indies.
“CWI must look to enter into discussions with the players at the moment in order to make sure that they are present in the set up a little more moving forward.”