With the 2019 World Cup is around the corner, there is a serious concern in the Indian camp regarding the workload that they will have to bear before and during the quadrennial tournament scheduled to be played in England and Wales stating on May 30. Amidst this concern, Indian medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar decided to play the first two weeks of IPL 2019. He has also hinted at the possibility of workload management for many other Indian players.
As soon as the India’s ongoing five-match home ODI series against Australia gets over the focus will be shifted to the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, starting on March 23. Since India have been playing constant cricket since September 2018, any injury to any World Cup bound player will be a big blow to India.
BCCI has announced two weeks’ schedule for the T20 league taking heart of the general elections 2019. At the same time, fixtures of rest of the tournament are yet to be announced. India play their first warm-up fixture of the World Cup – against New Zealand – on May 25 which is likely to leave the Indian players with very little turnaround time after the conclusion of the IPL season.
Just a fortnight ago, Virat Kohli expressed concerns for his batsmen going into the IPL, and expected them to be smart about their workload.
“The amount you practice, with the amount of travel during the IPL and the number of games in different conditions, in different temperatures, it is going to be challenging, to be honest. “But as a cricketer, you have to map out how many practice sessions you really need. If you are hitting the ball well, there is no need to go to a practice session and tire yourself out for three hours whereas you can utilise that particular phase to rest and recover even more,” Kohli had said. With less than three months to go for the World Cup, Bhuvneshwar has echoed his captain’s thoughts, and has hinted at the possibility of taking stock after the first-half of IPL to determine the appropriate amount of rest that can be taken. “That
is something that’s there in all of our minds. We have to manage everything. We cannot decide how much we are going to play or workload management. It will come into play after the first-half of IPL. [After] six-seven matches, we can know how we can approach the second-half of IPL and what we need to do to remain fit for the World Cup. Yes, it (World Cup) is there on our minds but we’ll look after (out fitness) in the second-half of IPL.” Bhuvneshwar, who is one of the first couple of names on the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s team sheet, also stated that there was no concrete plan in place, but just an idea in mind about how best to stay fit for the ‘important’ tournament that follows the IPL. Bhuvneshwar believes that the franchises will understand and make room for any such special requests coming their way, and reckons BCCI might get in touch with them asking for the same too. “There isn’t a surety for anything. Yes, there is something which is in mind, if I feel that I am tired, then we can take rest. Of course, it is up to the franchise. I am sure they will cooperate with each and every player because World Cup is a very important thing for us and BCCI may also talk to them. This is something which is in mind, no surety that we’re going to take rest and we’re not going to play, but we’ll see after the first round of games,” Bhuveshwar said. Besides the possibility of the unavailability of the Indian players in the second-half, IPL will also miss the services of Australian cricketers for a portion of the tournament, with Cricket Australia being cautious of the unprecedented amount of cricket coming up for their players in terms of the World Cup and the away Ashes series.