Indian Premier League News

Harbhajan Singh raises red flags over IPL’s timing clashing with T20 World Cup

Harbhajan Singh raises red flags over IPL's timing clashing with T20 World Cup
Image via IPL

Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has voiced apprehensions about the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 potentially hampering India’s readiness for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. With the IPL set to conclude on May 26, merely five days before the T20 World Cup kicks off on June 1 in the United States and the West Indies, Singh highlights the tight schedule as a significant hurdle for India’s preparation.

Singh pointed out a contrasting approach taken by England, where all IPL players returned home to participate in a four-match T20I series against Pakistan, serving as their final preparation ahead of the World Cup. He suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should adopt a similar strategy to ensure adequate practice for the Indian team.

Despite acknowledging India’s two preparatory games in America, Singh stressed the need for additional matches against top teams like England or Australia to acclimatize to unfamiliar conditions. He emphasized the importance of practicing together for 10-15 days before major tournaments to enhance team cohesion and readiness.

Singh, drawing from his experience as part of the 2007 World Cup-winning squad, underscored the significance of preparation in international tournaments. He highlighted the advantages of playing preparatory matches in host countries to familiarize players with local conditions, which could potentially bolster India’s chances of success.

“I think with this IPL scheduling, it is so difficult to have everyone together to play a few matches. But yes, we have two games in America before the tournament starts,” Harbhajan Singh told the Hindustan Times.

“Yes, I believe it would have been better for them to have 4–5 games, you know collectively playing against some top team like England or Australia in America, just to get used to those conditions. But that doesn’t seem to be happening,” he added.

As India gears up for the T20 World Cup, Singh’s concerns shed light on the importance of strategic planning and the role of the BCCI in ensuring the team’s readiness for international competitions. While the two preparatory games in America are deemed crucial, Singh’s forward-looking recommendation emphasizes the necessity of a dedicated preparation period for future tournaments to optimize India’s performance on the global stage.

“But now, whatever small window we have, those two games, we have to make the best use of it. Going forward, it is a great suggestion. When you are playing a tournament like the World Cup or WTC, the team should play together for 10–15 days, it will be better,” he added.

Also, see:

Allrounder Liam Livingstone quits IPL early – But why?