Cummins makes alarming 'IPL' remark in ominous message to Australia ahead of WTC Final: 'We've got to be proactive'
Australia captain Pat Cummins spoke in detail about the impact of IPL ahead of the WTC Final against India.
Australia face India in the final of the World Test Championship from June 7, and both teams will be chasing a maiden title. The Aussies had finished at the top of the table in the 2023 edition, and will be aiming to inflict a second-successive heartbreak on the Indian team; the Rohit Sharma-led side had faced a disappointing defeat in the inaugural final in 2021 to New Zealand – that time under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
The Indian players are making a return to international action after more than two months, as they took part in the Indian Premier League. Consequently, the Team India squad arrived in multiple groups owing to their respective franchise's schedule in the edition. Ahead of the final, however, Australia skipper Pat Cummins has made a rather strong remark on the IPL, insisting how it has a certain “monopoly” over the players' schedules.
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Cummins agrees that Trent Boult's decision to deny a New Zealand central contract for lucrative T20 league around the world has been in the offing since IPL changed the complexion of the game a decade ago.
"It's been coming for a while, but I think it is here now," Cummins was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“International cricket doesn’t have a monopoly on players’ time, like it did in the past. The IPL changed that a decade ago, but there’s just going to be more and more content that creeps in, so I think we’ve got to be proactive about that."
Cummins wants his teammates to consider national duty bigger than anything else but said that would be a challenge in these times of cash-rich franchise-based leagues.
"We have to keep making playing for Australia as special as we can, keeping a high performance to get every single player wanting to play for Australia as much as we can. That’s going to be the challenge.
“I think it’s upon us now, and we’ve got to start thinking about that quite deeply. I think fast-forward a few years time, a 12-month international calendar might look a little bit different,” said the Aussie skipper, who has played for the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Cummins believes cricket is going the football way and there will be a time when national teams will need clearances from franchises to play for the country.
"When you're talking about some of the opportunities that may be provided through the franchises, I don't think you can blame players that might take that option," he said.
"I see the day where that (a franchise release) happens. I think it's reality. You've seen it in other sports. So again, we've got to keep selling why playing for Australia is so special. And making sure there is some flexibility to try and get the best out of these guys.
"We still want the best players winning World Cups for us, winning big series. But obviously, there's more competing interests than there were in the past.
"That's why things are starting to quicken up, and it's moving towards a more world football model, where you play for your club, employed by your club, and you get released to play for your country."