Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has called on senior players to give the Indian Premier League (IPL) a miss if the dates of the rescheduled T20 tournament clash with the country’s domestic competitions. With the coronavirus forcing the sports world into a shutdown, the IPL has been postponed until further notice. But there have been speculations that the tournament could be organized in September-October this year.
Chappell believes that if a rescheduled IPL clashes with Australia’s Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup, at least the senior international players should stay back and play the domestic competitions.
“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,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.
“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.”
IPL and T20 World Cup
With the T20 World Cup in October-November looking increasingly likely to be postponed, some news reports have claimed that the IPL could take that spot. Chappell believes that if the BCCI wants to, it surely will.
“The first thing you know is that the BCCI will win,” he said.
“They’ll get their way if they want to play in October. At this point it appears to me that the chances of the T20 World Cup going ahead are somewhere between Buckley’s and none.
“With so many countries, I just think it would be logistically way too difficult, but that’s purely a cricketer talking, not a medical person or someone with experience running a tournament like that.
“But it seems to me with 16 teams to worry about it’s probably going to be too hard, and if the BCCI want the IPL to take that slot they’ll probably get their way.”
Chappell also brushed aside any idea that if star players like Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins chose to skip the IPL, BCCI would retaliate by not touring Australia for the 4-Test series.
“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,” he said.
“To me, bully-boy tactics never work long-term, they might work in the short-term, but that’s it.
“It’s time someone in the cricket world had the guts to stand up to India and say ‘if that’s the way you want to play, that’s fine, we’ll find someone else.’
“Sure it would be a whole lot of money down the drain, which at this stage would be difficult to swallow, but this is an opportunity to show the rest of the cricket world that there’s somebody prepared to stand up to India, and it’s time that a bit of common sense came into the scheduling.”
Kohli and Shastri won’t support
Chappell added that any such arm-wringing would not find support from the Indian team captain Virat Kohli, and coach Ravi Shastri.
“I’m not convinced that India would go down that route,” he said.
“I don’t know the thinking of the BCCI board, but I think if they tried that on, they’d get serious kickback from Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.
“Kohli strikes me as the sort of player who wants to challenge himself at every opportunity. He beat Australia here last time, he wouldn’t want to throw away the opportunity to now beat a full-strength Australian team.
“I think Kohli would be mightily pissed off if the Indian board went down that route.
“I also know Ravi pretty well, and I know how competitive he is.”