Australia team head coach Andrew McDonald has conceded that with the ever-expanding T20 cricket landscape, there will be some players who will exit the national setup and move towards franchise cricket over the next few years.
An army of Australian cricketers, including stalwarts such as Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner among others, compete in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and other global leagues, and a report in The Sydney Morning Herald said that the new Australia head coach fears some of the big names might exit the national setup to play in the lucrative leagues, adding that Cricket Australia (CA) needs to be prepared for the exits.
“If you look at it closely, there will be some turnover in the next four years,” McDonald was quoted as saying in the report.
“When that is, you never know. The way players have looked after themselves physically in the last decade means they can potentially play on. But whether they choose to play IPL or international cricket or only certain formats, that’s all to be discussed. Will they all leave at once? I’d say that’s highly unlikely. Some will surprise us with how long they can perform for,” opined McDonald, who is in Sri Lanka for a month-long tour.
The IPL media rights going for billions of dollars was a reminder that the lucrative league will only expand and McDonald, who has coached in the Big Bash League (BBL), the IPL and The Hundred in England, is conscious of the financial windfall for the players if they decide to play in leagues around the world full-time.
He, however, added that with bigger squads becoming the order of the day due to Covid-19, there will be many to fill the slots in case some players choose to leave the national setup.
“COVID has allowed us more exposure to players, to bigger squads, so we have an understanding of more players, so that helps to bridge the gap,” he said. “And with the program the way it is, we’re not going to be everything to everyone at every point. So there will be opportunities for other players to come through — as we’ve seen with Ben McDermott.
“So there’s an argument that at times if we push our players too far, they’re not the best people to be performing anyway.”