While most of the ICC World Cup-2019 squads of various nations are having or are going to have training camps soon for the all-important event India continue to have just Indian Premiere League (IPL-2019). Well…
That Virat Kohli continued to captain Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) even after the most disgraceful proceedings as far as the team performances are concerned has obvious reason. Being a superlative cricketer that he is and also being Team India captain Virat had been the star attraction of the IPL-2019. Therefore, despite the upsetting losses he was still having most of the commercial time on the air along with some of his non-performers, and an appetizing element of suspense being maintained by the cricketing experts or the media or the spectators that he might stage a comeback for his franchise yet, and who knows..! For similar reasons in terms of money and glamour Indian cricketers just could not leave the IPL halfway while many of the other international cricketers had already left or were leaving for training or preparatory camps of their respective countries. A camp should ideally be one-month long, and most countries were following that in right earnest. However, the last match of IPL scheduled on 12th May, 2019 Team India didn’t have even a fortnight to prepare with the ICC World Cup-2019 staring on 30th May, 2019 in England and Wales. Further, there had been no news so far if there was indeed going to be an Indian camp or not.
IPL has been an enigma in different ways. Many cricket experts and some sports journalists believed that competitive IPL was providing good enough match practice for the coming international tournament. This was a highly contentious issue. The format of T20 is entirely different with the bowlers not able to bowl more than 4 overs each, and batsmen desperately trying to hit sixes or fours with the little time available. How is it going to provide good practice to score as well as stick on the fast England pitches in the one-day international (ODI) or 50-over matches? Besides, stalwarts like Sourav Ganguly kept on making controversial statements intermixing T20 with the ODI format. Ganguly, going gaga over a match winning innings of Rishav Pant recently, said that this world cup was not the end of the road for him, there will more to follow in at least 15 years to come, adding to the astonishing hype created over the non-selection of Pant for the World Cup-2019. A few days later he said that the form of Virat Kohli in this IPL was no indication for the coming World Cup. Well, it was all of a matter of convenience to analyze IPL in the intended ways as was evident from such comments. The day or rather the night when RCB got finally knocked out of the tournament some media personnel were very quick to add that now Virat Kohli should concentrate only on preparing for the World Cup!
God forbid, the IPL could be the biggest stumbling block for the World Cup as far Team India’s performance in that event is concerned. Competitive club bonanza is no match for the international event where pride of nation is much more important than money and glitz. On the other hand if some players had benefited from the IPL they all belonged to rival teams. For example, Warner and Smith from Australia prospered very well just after coming back from serving a one-year ban for the ball-tampering scandal, good batting practice, and now the preparatory camp in addition; some of the Caribbean cricketers also benefited hugely from this tournament with a few of them making it to the World Club squad, and now going to have the training camp too. Only Indian cricketers had toiled like maniacs on slow-flat domestic pitches with no road to exit, and now will be leaving for England without any preparation in terms of physical conditioning. And also, they would definitely be fated to face the superstars created by this IPL in rival teams in the coming international event.
Whichever way it goes, Team India is still favored hugely to lift the World Cup-2019, and we believe too in that positivity. If Virat had problems in IPL captaincy he will have Dhoni and Rohit on his side in the World Cup. However, we still lament the possible lack of any preparatory camp for India to land in England reactivated sans the IPL hangover. And then, this time the ICC World Cup will be fought on a round-robin basis with each of the 10 teams playing each other once, and the top four teams making it to the semi-final stage. This promises to be a saga of super cricketing rivalry with the first match taking place on 30th May, 2019. Happy cricketing times to all the lovers of this game.