Australia take on India in the World Test Championship final from June 7, and both teams will be chasing a maiden title. The Aussies finished top of the table in the 2023 edition, and will aim to inflict a second consecutive heartbreak on the Indian team; the Rohit Sharma-led team faced a disappointing defeat in the first final in 2021 against New Zealand – that time under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
The Indian players make a return to international action after more than two months as they participated in the Indian Premier League. As a result, the Team India team arrived in various groups due to their respective franchise’s schedule in the edition. However, ahead of the final, Australian captain Pat Cummins made a rather strong comment about the IPL, insisting that it has a certain “monopoly” over the players’ schedules.
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Cummins agrees Trent Boult’s decision to turn down a New Zealand central contract for lucrative T20 league around the world has been in the offing since IPL changed the face of the game a decade ago.
“It’s been a while coming, but I think it’s here now,” Cummins said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“International cricket does not have a monopoly on players’ time as it did in the past. The IPL changed that a decade ago, but there’s just going to be more and more content creeping in, so I think we have to be proactive about it.”
Cummins wants his teammates to consider national duty greater than anything else, but said that will be a challenge in these times of cash-rich franchise-based leagues.
“We have to keep playing for Australia as special as we can, keep a high performance to get every single player who wants to play for Australia as much as we can. That’s going to be the challenge.
“I think it’s on us now, and we have to start thinking about it quite deeply. I think a few years down the line, a 12-month international calendar might look a little different,” said the Aussie captain, who played for the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Cummins believes cricket is going the way of football and there will be a time when national teams will need clearances from franchises to play for the country.
“When you talk about some of the opportunities that might be offered by the franchises, I don’t think you can blame players who might take that option,” he said.
“I see the day where it (a franchise release) happens. I think it’s reality. You’ve seen it in other sports. So again, we’ve got to keep selling why playing for Australia is so special. And make sure there’s is some flexibility to try and get the best out of these guys.
“We still want the best players to win World Cups for us, win big series. But of course there are more competing interests than there have been in the past.
“That’s why things are starting to speed up, and it’s moving towards a more global model of football, where you play for your club, in the service of your club, and you’re released to play for your country.”
Source: Hindustan Times