IPL 2020: Franchises to carry their own set of net bowlers

The decision has been taken to keep the bio-bubble intact and also to avoid difficulty in finding net bowlers during the long tour in the UAE.

Chennai Super Kings spinners Karn Sharma and Mitchell Santner at a training session during IPL 2019.   -  FILE PHOTO/AKHILESH KUMAR


Most of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have decided to carry their own set of ‘exclusive’ net bowlers to the United Arab Emirates.

The decision has been taken to keep the bio-bubble intact and also to avoid difficulty in finding net bowlers during their long tour in the UAE. With teams set to leave between August 20 and 23, the franchises are in the ‘final stages’ of selecting the right candidates.

IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel told Sportstar that it is not mandatory for teams to carry net bowlers. “It's left to the franchises. But if they want, they can take the services of the local bowlers as well,” Patel said.

However, teams like Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are looking at around eight to 10 bowlers, who will be with the team during the tournament. “We want to take a set of our own bowlers, but we are still trying to figure things out. We will take a call soon,” Kasi Viswanathan, the CEO of Chennai Super Kings, said.

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While efforts are being taken to ensure that most of the players are picked from the pool, some franchises are also looking at U-19, U-23 bowlers from various state units. Usually, every franchise has extra net bowlers at their home grounds during the tournament. The state association, which hosts the matches, also provides some local bowlers as per the requirement of the teams.

Cricket Association of Bengal, in a release, has confirmed that Sayan Ghosh and Akash Deep have been named as net bowlers for Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals respectively. Royal Challengers Bangalore has short-listed Aditya Thakare in its development squad.

“If we are carrying a group of selected bowlers, we need to ensure that they are really good. If we are carrying them once, it will be difficult to seek replacements later. So, the coaching staff is on the lookout,” one of the franchise owners said.

While franchises like Delhi Capitals are planning to carry a set of five to six bowlers, Sunrisers Hyderabad is still in the stage of discussion with its support staff. Franchises like Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and KKR - who run academies - are better placed in terms of picking the right candidates. “We are in the final stages of selecting the net bowlers, who could accompany us,” one of the franchise officials said.

The net bowlers will be tested regularly before their departure and upon arrival in the UAE.