India

Virat Kohli wants Team India pacers to skip IPL, rest for World Cup

The World Cup will be held in England from May 30 to July 14, while the IPL is likely to begin in the first week of April and run till the third week of May.

SKIPPER VIRAT Kohli wants India’s main fast bowlers to be rested for the IPL so that they can be “fresh and fit” for the World Cup that follows immediately, sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.

In a meeting with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), Kohli suggested that key pacers like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and others in the fray for next year’s World Cup should not be part of the Twenty20 tournament. No final decision has been taken on this request.

The World Cup will be held in England from May 30 to July 14, while the IPL is likely to begin in the first week of April and run till the third week of May.

The suggestion from Team India was that BCCI should compensate the players who would miss the IPL for the world tournament. Others in the set-up have mooted the idea that these pacers can either play the first or second half of the IPL so that they get enough rest.

The discussion over the pacers took place during a meeting convened by CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji to review India’s poor showing in England and other away tours. It was attended by Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, coach Ravi Shastri and chairman of selectors M S K Prasad.

The unprecedented request, however, could become a bone of contention between the BCCI and the IPL franchises that signed up these players for significant amounts.

The Indian Express understands that the CoA consulted IPL chief operating officer Hemang Amin on whether such a decision could be taken. It’s learnt that Amin advised that the franchises need to be informed about any such move well ahead or at least before the window for player transfers, which closes on November 15.

“There were a lot of suggestions, with the players sharing their views, but no decision was taken on this. It will be taken at the appropriate time if needed,” sources said.

Mumbai Indians would be the IPL team that would suffer the most if Kohli’s suggestion is accepted. They might lose the services of Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, two important bowlers in the Indian side.

It’s learnt that Kohli, Sharma and Rahane did not make any request to rest the batsmen. Kohli leads Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sharma leads Mumbai Indians while Rahane had to captain Rajasthan Royals last season after Steve Smith was banned after the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa.

Players from England and Australia will be playing only till April 30 this IPL as their boards will be calling them for World Cup preparatory camps.

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