Players who want to be involved in the World Cup later this year, but who are prone to injury, have been advised against playing in the 2023 version of the Indian T20 league.
That was the stark message from the BCCI after an initial shortlist of players for the tournament was drawn up.
The BCCI has just conducted its annual performance review at a luxury hotel in Mumbai.
The aim of the meeting was to review Team India’s performances in 2022, which included their failing to win the Asia Cup and crashing out of the T20 World Cup in Australia at the semi-final stage, when they were thrashed by India.
In attendance at the meeting were coach Rahul Dravid, current captain Rohit Sharma, VVS Laxman, NCA chairman, and former Chief Selector Chetan Sharma (who was deposed after that World Cup defeat). Roger Binny, the BCCI President dialled in remotely via video link.
In terms of going forward, there were three key recommendations.
- To be eligible for selection for the national team, emerging players must first have played the best part of a domestic season first.
- Selection criteria will include the Yo-Yo Test (an aerobic fitness test) and Dexa (a body composition scan). These will be implemented in the customised fitness programmes that all centrally contracted players are given.
- Given the World Cup coming later this year the NCA (National Cricket Academy) will work with the various franchises in the Indian T20 league to monitor the fitness of selected Indian players.
Build Up to the World Cup
In preparation for the World Cup, India will play 35 ODIs this year, beginning with a three-match series against Sri Lanka (the tourists will play a three-match T20I series first).
It is recognised that it is impossible for the same players to appear in all these matches, with workload management a key task in the coming months.
And that is why those players who may be at risk of injury are being asked to consider skipping this year’s Indian T20 league.
It is not clear what happens if they ignore this advice but the implications for their hopes of being involved in the tournament subsequently are clear.
It has further been revealed that 20 names have been shortlisted for the World Cup, although they have not been disclosed publicly.
However, that has not stopped speculation amongst cricket fans as to who might be included, and if the rumours are correct, then it is bad news for veteran Shikhar Dhawan. He captained the ODI side as recently as December in Bangladesh but has been dropped for the series against Sri Lanka after a sustained run of poor form with the bat.
The fact that he is not in the selectors’ minds at this stage, puts long odds on him getting back into the team later this year.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant’s inclusion must be in doubt after he was involved in a serious car crash last week, which almost cost him his life.
He suffered ligament damage in the incident, and he has already been ruled out of the test series with Australia. It is uncertain when he will return to action, although he could be on the sidelines for six months or more.
Who is injury prone?
The most obvious candidate that the BCCI means when it comes to injury prone is premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. He has a history of back problems, and has not played for India since picking up another strain ahead of the Asia Cup.
And Ravindra Jadeja may also be in the selectors’ minds. He too has been missing for the national side since injuring a knee during the group stages of the Asia Cup, and, although he was theoretically available for the Bangladesh tour, it was decided not to risk him at that stage.
The World Cup
India will be hosts for the 2023 World Cup which begins in October.
They will be hoping to win the trophy for the first time since 2011, when it was also held on Indian soil.
The tournament is under a cloud, at present, with Pakistan threatening to boycott it on political grounds.
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