The ICC has ruled out creating a separate window in the FTP for lucrative domestic leagues like the IPL, despite increasing calls for the game's governing body to figure out a way to allow players to participate without disrupting their international commitments.
"We don't envisage a separate window for a domestic event like the IPL," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's CEO, said in New Delhi at the unveiling of the ICC World Twenty20 trophy. "We cannot incorporate all domestic events into the FTP. It is just not possible as there would be implications for all other member boards."
Players from Australia, New Zealand and West Indies had to miss the first few games of the IPL this season as they were busy playing for their countries. Australia and New Zealand were involved in a bilateral series and the players couldn't reach India before April 1. Former Australian wicketkeeper and captain of Deccan Chargers, Adam Gilchrist, was the latest to join the chorus for an IPL window, pointing to the financial rewards for the players.
Commenting on the Twenty20-heavy calendar, Lorgat said he wasn't too concerned about possible player burnout once players assemble in the West Indies for the World Twenty20. The tournament begins on April 30, just five days after the conclusion of the six-week IPL. He pointed to the success of last year's World Twenty20 in England, which followed just after the IPL.
"The World Cup in England last year came immediately after the IPL. But it was extremely successful. We saw a full house at all the venues. I think the IPL is a great forerunner to the World Cup," he said. "Players are in Twenty20 mode and we are hopeful of an equally successful World Cup this time around."
The World Twenty20 is supposed to be held once every two years, but the fact that this edition follows barely a year after the previous one is an anomaly, which the ICC is trying to fix. "The fact that it is the third T20 World Cup in four years is a bit of an anomaly," Lorgat said. "We are trying to rectify the scheduling and set it right."
He also brushed aside concerns that the popularity of Twenty20 will overshadow that for Tests and ODIs. "Its popularity has gone beyond expectations but other formats are also popular. There was a lot of negativity around the other formats, but in the last 12-18 months we have seen some fascinating 50-over games," Lorgat said. "When (India's) Sachin Tendulkar scored 200, most people were of the view that 50-overs cricket would definitely survive."