The 2019 Indian Premier League will be without some of Australia’s best players for its final weeks because the World Cup will take priority, as Cricket Australia aims to ensure country is put before club.
However, Australian cricket has suffered from scandal and poor form over the course of a horrendous 2018 – and focus has turned to rectifying that ahead of a World Cup defence and Ashes series in England.
The guidelines state that anyone selected in the 15-player World Cup squad, which will be announced in late April, must attend a pre-tournament camp in early May. Australia will also play an ODI series against Pakistan during the last two weeks of March and will not be released before its completion.
The red-ball Sheffield Shield competition also takes precedence over the IPL, and players hoping to compete in India must seek prior approval from the CA.
CA’s interim Team Performance chief Belinda Clark said the rules were “in the interest of making Australians proud of our team”.
“We are working hard to ensure their health and match readiness ahead of what will undoubtedly be a huge year in cricket, while respecting the players’ interests in playing in the various formats,” she said.
“It is a difficult period with the IPL being brought forward to accommodate the Cricket World Cup, and overlapping our domestic season.
“We are committed to respecting the position of the Sheffield Shield, while ensuring Australia’s World Cup squad is well prepared for this critical world event.”
The 2019 IPL auction is due to take place next month with Australian players often sought after on big-money contracts. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc revealed he had been released from his Kolkata Knight Riders contract earlier this week, though it is unclear whether the decision is to do with his limited availability.
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