Former Australian captain Allan Border has spoken out against suggestions the IPL could be scheduled in place of the World T20 tournament later this year, describing it as a “money grab” by Indian cricket.
- The men’s World T20 tournament is scheduled to begin in October in Australia, involving 16 cricketing nations but the tournament is in doubt
- India’s high-profile IPL competition, which was due to begin in late March, was postponed due to the pandemic — new dates have not been released
- Allan Border says the world game of cricket can not allow India to control it
The World T20 is scheduled to run from October 18 to November 15 this year at various venues across Australia.
However, the coronavirus pandemic — which has already caused the postponement or cancellation of many major sporting events in this country and overseas — has placed the future of this year’s tournament in doubt.
Reports this week have suggested that the Indian cricket board, the BCCI, is looking at trying to reschedule the lucrative IPL tournament for the same window as the World T20.
Border told ABC’s Grandstand Cafe radio program he would not agree with any attempt to run the IPL in place of the world tournament.
“[I’m] not happy with that, the world game should take precedence over a local competition,” Border said.
“I would question that decision [to replace it] — it’s just a money grab, isn’t it, that one?
“The World T20 should take precedence, for sure.”
Asked what impression it would leave if India was able to go ahead with the IPL in an alternative window, Border said it would send the wrong signal to world cricket.
“They’re pretty close to it now, but I suppose if you’re responsible for 80 per cent of global [cricket] income, you’re going to have a fair say in what goes on, I get that,” Border said.
“But I think the world game can’t allow that to happen.
“The home boards should stop their players going to the IPL, if that’s the case.
“I don’t think you can have India superseding what the international game has in place. That would be going down the wrong path.”
Border was also asked about the Sheffield Shield’s relevance to producing Australian Test cricketers, as questions are raised over the domestic competition’s place in the schedule for the summer of cricket.
“I feel it does [have relevance], if you talk to the players they are of that opinion as well, they love playing Sheffield Shield cricket,” he said.
“I think it still has the same relevance. I think it’s got to be very hard to develop good, all-round cricketers, just through short-form cricket.
“I think the long form of the game really does set your technique in place as a bowler or as a batsman, and then you can move into those other, shorter forms of the game.
“There’s a bit more power-hitting involved and different tactics as a bowler … developing your skills there, but the ultimate is, I think, to play that first-class cricket and that area of the game really develops your best players.”
The former Australian skipper said authorities would have to relax the rules on tampering with cricket balls, as the governing body looks at its response to the coronavirus.
An ICC committee has this week recommended a rule change to stop the use of saliva to shine the ball, with a decision expected next month.
“I suppose sweat and saliva are going to be very similar — if you’ve got the virus, you’re going to pass it on, aren’t you? Border said.
“They will obviously have to relax the rules over polishing the cricket ball with some sort of substance other than sweat or saliva.
“Whether you’re allowed to scratch it, or put saliva to shine it on one side, or picking the seam — there’s always something going on about the cricket ball, isn’t there?
“It’s a very important part of our game, particularly the Test match game, or the longer-form game, rather than white-ball cricket.
“It will be a challenge to see what the powers-that-be come up with … the bowlers have got to be able to do something with the cricket ball, not just let the ball go so the batsmen can smash it everywhere.
“They’ve got to be able to shine the ball to try and extract some swing, that type of thing.”