BCCI to deal with Indian players' workload as World Cup looms

The BCCI is in talks with the IPL franchises to manage the workload of Indian cricketers ahead of the quadrennial tournament.

Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli, who play every format for India, have had optimal breaks between every series in the last 12 months.   -  AFP

Ahead of the World Cup, workload management seems to be the buzzword in Indian cricket.

The chairman of national selection committee, M. S. K. Prasad, insisted that a total of 18 players have been shortlisted for the World Cup and they are in talks with the respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises to manage their workload ahead of the mega event.

With teams like Australia and England asking their players to return home early for the World Cup, there have been talks that even the workload of the Indian players -- who are likely to make the World Cup squad -- should be monitored during the IPL.

Read: Karthik non-selection adds to World Cup squad puzzle

“We have shortlisted 18 players and we will rotate them before selecting the final World Cup squad. As far as workload management is concerned, it is yet to be worked out. There are discussions happening on that front and we will let you know,” Prasad said on Friday.

But then, will the franchises agree to rest India’s top players on their roster after splurging so much?

“If your question suggests that the franchises will be wary of resting players, it is an issue we will deal with considering it’s a World Cup year. There have been views from franchises and I am not going into specifics,” BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary said.

“And also considering the fact that all the franchises are Indian franchises, the interest of the country, of doing well at the highest international level, is paramount,” Choudhary said.

With the IPL set to begin on March 23, most of the franchises have already begun their pre-season training camps. Now, if the BCCI plans to rotate players during the tournament, it would be interesting to see if the franchises agree to such a proposal.