THE WORKLOAD and fitness of 20 shortlisted Indian players in this year’s 10-team extended IPL will be monitored at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). And, emerging players can no longer bank on just their IPL performances to enter the national team, as “substantial domestic performance” will be mandatory.
These were among the key decisions taken at the high-level BCCI review meeting held in Mumbai Sunday in the wake of India’s semi-final loss in the World T20 last year and the recent unimpressive showing in Bangladesh.
The decision-makers in Indian cricket have also drawn up a roadmap for the October-November 50-overs World Cup at home.
The review meeting involved Board president Roger Binny, secretary Jay Shah, captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid, NCA chief V V S Laxman and chairman of selection committee Chetan Sharma. Binny and Rohit are abroad and took part in the meeting virtually.
“The BCCI has shortlisted 20 players who will be rotated till the 50 overs ICC World Cup,” Shah said after the meeting. He also said that those outside the pool of 20 will remain in contention since exceptional domestic performances can open the World Cup for them.
Shah said the NCA in Bengaluru will be the final authority on players’ fitness regarding selection for the Indian team. The decision is significant as of late, contracted players have found to be unfit after joining the India squad.
“Keeping in mind the Men’s FTP (Future Tours Programme) and preparations for ICC CWC 2023, the NCA will work in tandem with the IPL franchises to monitor the targeted Indian players participating in the IPL 2023,” the BCCI said in a press release.
Over the past two years, the Indian board had faced criticism as key IPL and India players — all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah — have either been partially fit or ruled out because of injury during ICC events.
The failure to manage the workload of all-format players has been seen as the reason for the best India team not taking the field in big tournaments. Unlike the BCCI, foreign boards like those in Australia and England restrict the playing and training time of their star IPL players.
The BCCI also said that issues of player availability, workload management and fitness parameters were discussed at length in the meeting.
The Board has decided to inform the selection committee that domestic performances should be considered paramount. “In the past, one-IPL-season wonders have been fast-tracked to the India team. Now, the grind of the domestic season will be given more weightage,” said a BCCI source.
In another major decision, the BCCI has made the Yo-Yo and Dexa fitness tests mandatory for selection. In the past, too, the Yo-Yo test has been used to check the endurance of players. The new test, Dexa, will assess body fat and measure bone mass, muscle and fat tissues.
“The Yo-Yo Test and Dexa will now be part of selection criteria and implemented in the customised roadmaps of the central pool of players,” the BCCI said.