The 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could start two weeks earlier than intended in light of the Indian team management’s request to allow sufficient rest-time for the fast bowlers ahead of the 50-over World Cup in England.
According to report by ESPNcricinfo, India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri had stressed upon the important of giving the pacers at least a two-week rest in their meeting with the BCCI’s senior management and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) last month.
The team management’s request was made in the string of meetings held in New Delhi and Hyderabad with Test and ODI vice-captains Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in attendance too.
It is understood that IPL CEO Hemang Amin informed the CoA that such a request would need the consent of each franchise involved and as such, would be highly unlikely to be granted.
This is turn, has led the BCCI and the CoA to consider the possibility of holding the IPL two weeks in advance with March 23 mooted as a possible launch date.
Whether or not Kohli and the team management will get their wish remains to be seen with uncertainty surrounding the IPL dates remaining intact as India prepares to go for a general election next year.
Should the general elections clash with the IPL window, the BCCI could be forced to shift the tournament to the UAE or South Africa but India remains the preferred option for the organisers.
A call on the final scheduling of the tournament will only be taken once the Central Election Commission of India has announced the dates for the general elections.
For now, the IPL franchises are busy finalizing their squads ahead of the player auction which is set to take place in Jaipur on December 18. Teams have until November 15 to make any trades with other franchises and select the players they wish to retain.
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