Lorgat stated that there was no easy solution to this problem
Before leaving his post as International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive, Haroon Lorgat announced that the ICC would not be debating on whether to create an official window for the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The issue of the IPL clashing with international tours has been a major problem since the tournament began in 2008, and this year has been no different, where many members of the West Indies squad came to play in the Twenty20 competition rather than represent their country against Australia.
Next year will be no different, as New Zealand’s tour of England begins during the second half of the IPL, and many of the players are expected to participate in the IPL since they get paid more in the tournament than they do through their national contracts.
However, even with this situation at their hands, the ICC have decided against opening a two month window for the IPL so that players would not have to make the tough choice of playing in the tournament or for their country.
Lorgat, believes if the ICC were to an official window for the IPL, it could end up damaging the reputation of the true meaning of cricket.
“The consequence of that [an IPL window] is what do we do with the Big Bash League? What do we do with other premier leagues – Sri Lanka is launching one, Bangladesh has one. I know people might say the IPL is the premier league, but once you provide a window for one particular member, you have to be conscious of the fact you may well have to do it for other members. Hence why we have not been supportive of a window specifically for any one of those domestic leagues,” Lorgat said.
With many cricket boards realising that the IPL draws a lot of attention from international cricketers, they have agreed to be more cautious when scheduling tours during that period of time.
New Zealand’s cricket board has already agreed with the player’s association to avoid scheduling international tours during the period of the IPL.
But, with New Zealand set to face England next year, many think that the players will miss the warm-up matches before the Test series gets under way.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland believes that the national boards of all the cricketing countries are doing their best to allow players to participate in the IPL, however he also noted that clashes between international tours and the Twenty20 tournament will continue to happen in the future.
“I think there’s a notional window already for the IPL, I think it exists. There’s an inevitability around some overlap and countries are working around that to the best of their ability. There are challenges ultimately, it’s been raised with clashes from time to time. But I think there’s a notional window that most countries are working with and around, in order to allow their players the opportunity to play in IPL,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland, further believes that the IPL allows players from different nations to bond and learn from each other, which he sees as a huge benefit for many of the younger players in the tournament.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for cricketers to play in that competition. It’s a huge competition and obviously it’s very lucrative. It’s hard to really stand in the way of that, particularly for countries that are less fortunate than ourselves, perhaps not generating the same amount of money as we are and perhaps not being able to pay their players as much as we are able to here in Australia,” Sutherland added.
However, with the amount of tours taking place during the year, Lorgat stated that there was no easy solution to the IPL problem since there is so much demand for all three formats of the game to be showcased during international tours.
“There’s only 365 days in the year, if we could work out how to get more [days in the year] we would have the answer. Volume of cricket is something we all focus on. The only way in my view is for everybody involved to monitor and to ensure that they manage volume. Everybody to me is from the players themselves all the way through to the administrators, with the coaches in between,” Lorgat said.