‘Up to the franchises and players,’ says Rohit Sharma on IPL workload

With the ODI World Cup scheduled later this year, there have been concerns about Indian players' workload during the upcoming IPL 2023. The Indian team management has given the franchises some instructions but captain Rohit Sharma is doubtful it would be followed.

The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League begins from March 31, nine days after India's ODI series against Australia concluded. A little more than a week after the IPL, India have the World Test Championship final lined up on June 7. With the WTC final and ODI World Cup to come, the management wants Indian players to be managed well. 

“I mean, it's all up to the franchises now. The franchises own them [the players] now, so we've given some indications or some kind of borderline kind of thing to the teams. But at the end of the day it's up to the franchise and, most importantly it's the players you know, they have to take care of their own body,” said Rohit after the third ODI against Australia in Chennai.

“They [players] are all adults. So they have to look after their body and just if they feel that it's getting a little too much, they can always talk about it and have a break in one or two games. I doubt [if] that will happen but,” he added. 

India's injury woes

The Indian side will be without their frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final. The fast bowler has been out of action due to an injury since September last year. He is set to miss an IPL season for the first time ever, which has put a massive dent on Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians side. Sharma and the Indian management are hoping the pacer will be fully fit for the world cup.

Shreyas Iyer, the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, is also set to miss at least the first half of the IPL 2023 due to a recurring lower back injury. Iyer first witnessed discomfort in December and the injury has troubled him consistently since. Most recently, he had to miss the fourth Test versus Australia and was ruled out of the following ODI series.

Captain Sharma is concerned about the injuries as the regular players keep missing the matches. He said the management has been trying everything to keep players fresh, resting them at times. 

“Look yeah, it is concerning because… we are missing the players who are actually playing XI players, you know… they regularly play in the playing XI. But honestly, everyone's trying their best to get everyone on the path, we've been focusing a lot on management of the players, which is why you keep seeing we have to rest certain players at certain point in time.

Sharma said that people working behind the scenes are trying their best but freakish injuries can happen at any time and these things are out of control. Sharma gave the example of Iyer, who looked fine and suddenly felt discomfort. 

“Shreyas [Iyer] was sitting the whole day and he just went to take a knock. And you know the injury happened to him. And there's nothing you could do about it, and I mean, the only thing we can keep in mind is managing players and giving them enough breaks,” Sharma added.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India