Australia tour of Pakistan puts a cloud of uncertainty over IPL participation

Cricket Australia’s endorsement of the men’s team tour of Pakistan has left the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises in a piqued position. The month-long tour, approved by the CA board on Friday (February 4), could force some of the top Australian players to miss potentially four to five games of the IPL, leaving the IPL team officials looking for answers.

Australia’s first official visit to Pakistan in 24 years has three Tests followed by three ODIs and a T20I, with the start date of the series being March 4. The last match is on April 5 in Rawalpindi, which will enable the Australian players to arrive for the IPL earliest on April 6.

According to sources in the IPL, the visiting players will have to undergo a five-day quarantine period which means they will have to stay isolated up to at least April 11.

CA has not yet announced the squads but top Australians like Pat Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, all all-format players, have registered for the mega auction while the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis have been retained by the franchises. Overall, 47 Australian players have made themselves available for the auction.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not formally written to the teams listing out the exact availability periods of the overseas players for the season and that is the information most eagerly awaited by the franchises ahead of the February 12 and 13 auction.