Shifting the Indian Premier League to South Africa has put the franchises in a fix with some of them thinking of taking a 16-member squad and flying in replacements as and when required.
But the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), last year’s runners-up, have no such worries. Kasi Viswanathan, a top CSK administrative officer, told HT from Chennai that he wanted to go with at least 20 players.
“In a 16-member squad, we cannot even have a desired 11,” he said. “With four foreign players in the eleven, we need a broader base to select the Indian players from, what if all the eight of the nine foreign players are available throughout the tournament. I cannot go with just 16 players. We will go with at least 20 players,” Viswanathan said.
The nine foreign players in CSK ranks are Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, George Bailey, Andrew Flintoff, Jacob Oram, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini and Thilan Thushara.
Flintoff will be available for a part of the IPL as England host the West Indies in a two-Test and three ODI series, which will coincide with the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Indian players are being put through the paces by fitness trainer Gregory King in a camp that started in Chennai from March 26. The team is scheduled to leave for South Africa on April 8. It is learnt that coach Stephen Fleming will arrive in Chennai on April 6 and leave with the squad two days later.
Parthiv Patel, the team’s top-order batsman and second choice wicketkeeper after skipper MS Dhoni, said on Sunday that he was hopeful of a good IPL season. “I had a good chat with Fleming last (IPL) season and hopefully will have a good season with him as the new coach,” he said while working out in the gym with team-mate Suresh Raina.