Sydney: Putting country first, Cricket Australia will not allow its players, picked in the World Cup squad, to take part in the last few weeks of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) so that they prepare well for the big-ticket event.
The lucrative IPL Twenty20 tournament is likely to start early than the scheduled time to give the players enough time to rest and prepare for the ODI World Cup, starting in England on May 30.
Advancing the IPL dates to March means it will clash with the last part of Australia's domestic season as well as their ODI series against Pakistan.
The final round of the Sheffield Shield is scheduled from March 20 to 23, while the Pakistan ODI series, though not confirmed, has been pencilled in for March 15-29.
Cricket Australia has made it clear that World Cup remains the priority for the defending champions and the players will have to complete their Sheffield Shield commitments and national duties to get approval to play in the IPL.
Cricket Australia also said the 15 players selected in the World Cup squad will have to attend a pre-tournament camp in early May, which means they could miss the final 2-3 weeks of the IPL.
"It is a difficult period with the IPL being brought forward to accommodate the Cricket World Cup, and overlapping our domestic season," said Cricket Australia's Interim EGM Team Performance, Belinda Clark.
"We are committed to respecting the position of the Sheffield Shield, while ensuring Australia's World Cup squad is well prepared for this critical world event, while also ensuring those that are fit to play have opportunity to participate in the IPL.
"While this is no easy feat, I think we have managed a reasonable balance that will enable the players to consider their options and choose what is right for them and their respective teams." Clarke said the announcement will give clarity to players.
"...it is important the players understand our position in advance, so they have the clarity they need to make personal decisions.
"It is imperative that we ensure Australia is in the best possible position as we head into the Cricket World Cup and the 2019 Ashes series. This means prioritising our focus on match readiness and the health of our players." Fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who has already been released from the KKR squad, has said said that he will not put himself available for the 2019 IPL auction. (PTI)