The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a bold decision of managing the workload of a pool of 20 Indian players ahead of the 50-over World Cup in their latest review meeting on Sunday, January 1. However, the board might be at crossroads with IPL franchises as they are unlikely to rest their key players in an elongated schedule this year.

The BCCI made an official statement on Sunday, stating that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will work in tandem with IPL franchises to monitor and manage the workload of the Indian players ahead of the WTC final (if India qualifies) and the 50-over World Cup. This policy has been introduced after several Indian players succumbed to injuries in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup last year.

It is worth noting that ECB and CA have been following this policy for years and have agreements with players who feature in global domestic leagues like the IPL. However, the latest statement from an IPL official indicates that the BCCI will have to make some rectifications to their policy as they are not eligible to manage the workload of players due to their contracts with IPL franchises.

The BCCI cannot ask the franchises to rest a player for any IPL game. They can of course monitor the workload and ask for any data to be shared, but they cannot fix a cap and say a certain player can play only X number of matches or can bowl only X number of overs,” a franchise official said.

An extended IPL season means that the team management will have to monitor the fitness levels of the players in a packed international calendar that will witness India host the ODI World Cup later this year. It will be interesting to see if the BCCI gets its way with the franchises when it comes to managing the workload of the players or will the cash-rich league get precedence over international commitments.