Australian players face a choice to play IPL at UAE or domestic cricket
Many of Australia’s best cricketers are facing a dilemma between heading for the lucrative Indian Premier League abroad or remaining home for domestic cricket, with the IPL set this week to get the green light.
The Indian government is expected to confirm the schedule next week, meaning the 17 Australians. They hold IPL contracts and are now facing a decision as to whether they are pursuing Cricket Australia’s No Objection Certificates or opting to remain and represent their State sides.
Under ICC regulations, players need a NOC from their home board before being able to participate in a domestic competition held overseas.
There is a precedent for players leaving the competition early for international duty, as Steve Smith and David Warner did before joining up with Australia’s World Cup training camp last year.
Now, a clash is looming with Australia’s domestic season. The timing of the IPL season is also unexpected for Australia’s internationals, with a six-match limited-overs series officially coming to a close in the UK by September 16.
Visitors who arrive with a certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 check within the past 72 hours will not need to quarantine under the new safety initiatives in the UAE, with England and Australian players scheduled to share a chartered flight to the UAE from the UK.
The 26-man preliminary squad Australia named includes IPL top-earner Pat Cummins, who was bought at the auction last December by Kolkata for A$ 3.16 million and joined Steve Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell as Australians on $1m+ deals.
Confirmation of the IPL schedule may also have effects on Australia’s international calendar. With the T20 International series currently scheduled for October against West Indies and India, while players returning from the IPL are likely to face a 14-day quarantine duration on their return home – assuming current travel protocols remain in effect.
The KFC BBL is currently expected to open on the same date as the scheduled start of Australia’s Test Series with India in Brisbane on December 3. Foreign players playing in the Big Bash will also need to quarantine, creating the opportunity for a mass arrival of leading cricket talent in Australia after the IPL.
But before that, Australia will have a Test match against Afghanistan scheduled to start in Perth on November 21.