Cummins opts out of IPL with eye on Australia's heavy schedule

With up to 15 Tests between now and July, Australia's captain will use the time for a break

Pat Cummins struck early, KKR v SRH, IPL 2022, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, April 15, 2022

Pat Cummins won't be going to the IPL next year  •  BCCI

Pat Cummins' decision to forego an AU$1.3 million IPL pay cheque has exposed cricket's overloaded calendar, with Australia's best players set for more than 100 days of international games in the next 12 months.
Cummins made the call on Tuesday morning to skip next year's IPL tournament for the Kolkata Knight Riders, pointing to a heavy international workload.
Australia have a four-Test tour of India next February and March before the tournament, while an Ashes series in England and one-day World Cup in India follow.
Cummins' decision comes just weeks after he was elevated to the captaincy of Australia's one-day team, meaning he will likely feature in more white-ball series before next year's global event.
"I've made the difficult decision to miss next years IPL," Cummins tweeted. "The international schedule is packed with Tests and ODI's for the next 12 months, so will take some rest ahead of an Ashes series and World Cup."
When factoring in all Tests this summer as well as one-day and T20 series on the road in 2023, Australia's players have up to 106 days of international cricket in the next 12 months.
That figure includes a possible World Test Championship final in London with Australia currently top of the table, as well as the semi-finals and final of next year's ODI World Cup.
The problem is most significant for fast bowlers Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, and allrounder Cameron Green who will each play against England in ODIs this week.
David Warner, Alex Carey, Steven Smith, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne also play across both red and white-ball formats, meaning nine of Australia's top XI are now regulars in both the Test and one-day teams.
Australia's selections for this week's matches have also shown selectors want to give players as much match preparation as possible for next year's World Cup.
Virtually all cricket in the next 12 months is either in the form of Test or 50-over matches, with three T20s against South Africa next August the sole exception.
The topic of quick turnarounds between series has been a point of contention for players, with England allrounder Moeen Ali lamenting the fact his team must play again just four days after a World Cup triumph.
"It's been happening for a while," Moeen told reporters after England's T20 triumph on Sunday. "When we won the World Cup in 2019, we had an Ashes game two weeks later and we had a Test match against Ireland about 10 days later.
"Those kind of things are a shame. As a group we want to enjoy and celebrate and have that [time] because you put so much into it. Having a game in three days' time, it's horrible."