Buzz over IPL contracts of Australian cricketers
Leading Australian cricketers may have to forego their lucrative IPL contracts in the wake of the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, reports in the Australian media said on Tuesday.
Cricket Australia on Tuesday morning confirmed that the 2019-20 Sheffield Shield final has been scrapped and New South Wales declared champions.
There are 17 Australian players contracted with the different IPL franchises.
Cricket Australia has not directed the players officially, with its chief executive Kevin Roberts saying players were individually contracted to their IPL franchises and had the power to make up their own minds — in consultation with Cricket Australia — to compete in the IPL or not.
However, The Australian reported that Cricket Australia is reviewing whether it will permit their players to participate in the IPL or The Hundred series in the UK.
According to the report, Cricket Australia routinely gives players No Objection Certificates to participate in the annual IPL, but that is now under review.
The IPL has been “suspended” till April 15. Now the global response to curb the spread of the virus could see stars, including Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell, forced to give up their rich contracts.
Cummins set a record for the highest paid overseas player in the history of the competition when he was bought for Rs 15.5 crore by the Kolkata Knight Riders during the IPL auctions in December. Maxwell received a Rs 10.75-crore contract with Kings XI.
Roberts said he expects the players to be able to make the right call about their involvement in the IPL after discussions with Cricket Australia.
“We can provide advice. We’re conscious of the fact that Australian players are individually contracted to the IPL and the time will certainly come very soon where players are going to be really interested and leaning on our perspective as their leader... to advise them in that regard,” he said at the Cricket Australia headquarters in Melbourne.
“And then there will also be a perspective from the BCCI and their IPL division and together with our players and the BCCI I’m sure players will reach the best possible decisions.”
The Telegraph spoke to several franchises but none said that their overseas players had aired apprehensions about playing in the IPL.
No threat to Cup
Cricket Australia is planning to host the men’s T20 World Cup as scheduled in October, Roberts confirmed.
“We’re really hoping that all forms of sport can be played again in a few weeks or a few months’ time,” Roberts said.
“None of us are experts in this situation obviously, so our hope is that we’re back in very much normal circumstances come October and November when the men’s T20 World Cup is to be played.”
The men’s T20 World Cup is slated to begin with the pre-qualifiers from October 18-23 followed by the main 12-team competition from October 24.
The final will be played on November 15 at the MCG and CA is planning for a full house.
“And at this stage we’re planning on November 15, to have a full house at the MCG to inspire the world through men’s cricket as the women’s cricketers did here just last week,” Roberts said.