Australia chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns on Wednesday said he expects the country’s IPL players to forgo the high-profile T20 league starting mid-September if a tri-series involving West Indies and Afghanistan is scheduled at the same time.
In addition to the white-ball series against West Indies and Bangladesh, for which a 18-member squad was announced on Wednesday, Australia is hoping to finalise a T20 tri-series with West Indies and Afghanistan just before the T20 World Cup which will be held in October-November.
Should that tri-series go ahead, it might potentially clash with the final phase of the IPL which is expected to resume in the UAE from mid-September, and Hohns made it clear where Cricket Australia expected players’ priority to lie.
“Around that time of the year, I would certainly hope so (that players forego the IPL for national representation)," Hohns was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“However, it will certainly depend on their commitments and what we think they should be committing to regarding their Australian commitments at that time."
Hohns, however, added that the matter “would have to be addressed in the future".
“We haven’t looked at that yet and we haven’t heard from our players at this stage," he said.
Hohns also hinted that there is no guarantee that some of the IPL returnees who have opted out of the squad for the white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh would get an automatic spot in the T20 World Cup.
Seven cricketers — David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams — who recently played in the IPL have pulled out of the twin tours while Steve Smith has been rested to fully recover from an elbow complaint which flared during the IPL.
“That will be an interesting discussion for us, there’s no doubt about that, depending on performances in the West Indies particularly by some of the extra inclusions for this tour," Hohns said.
“If somebody were to really shoot the lights out with the bat or the ball, we’d have to stand up and take notice."
He said it would have been ideal to have all the players together and play as a group and a squad (ahead of the World Cup).
“It is concerning … but unfortunately we can’t. However, we’ve got at least half of our (first-choice) squad going to the West Indies and Bangladesh, so a core group will be there, and they will be able to play together."
Hohns also said prior to the finalisation of the 18-man touring party for the West Indies and Bangladesh, the selectors were “pretty well down the track" in finalising the squad they planned to take to the T20 World Cup.
“There may have been one or two positions up for grabs, but we virtually thought we were close to the mark or had a good idea of where we would be going with our T20 World Cup squad.
“We’re obviously disappointed they made themselves unavailable for this tour, but quite frankly we totally understand and respect their decisions," Hohns said.