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'IPL will be a nice build-up for T20 WC'

February 23, 2022 18:23 IST
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Australia's interim coach Andrew McDonald reckons that the advent of IPL has accelerated cricket and has taken the game to an altogether different level.

IMAGE: Australia's interim coach Andrew McDonald reckons that the advent of IPL has accelerated cricket and has taken the game to an altogether different level. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Australia's interim coach Andrew McDonald on Wednesday advocated the importance of the IPL, saying the upcoming edition of the lucrative league will be a nice build up for his team as it defends its T20 World Cup title on home soil later this year.

"Oh, no doubt. I think the quality of the IPL can coexist with our preparation for our plans for T20 World Cup, and there was no greater example than Josh Hazlewood. Going to the IPL before the World Cup, getting a nice build in getting a nice lead-in," McDonald said during a virtual press conference just days ahead of Australia's departure to Pakistan.

 

Australia is set to embark on a historic tour of Pakistan after 24 years where they will play a full series, involving three Tests beginning March 4 in Rawalpindi, followed by three ODIs and a one-off T20 International.

Interestingly, McDonald's statement came a day after it was reported that Australia's star players, including David Warner, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins, will miss the start of the IPL despite skipping the limited overs series against Pakistan, which is set to coincide with the lucrative T20 league.

Warner, Hazelwood and Cummins are part of the Test squad for the series in Pakistan, starting March 4-25, but will be skipping the limited overs assignment, beginning March 29. The dates of the upcoming IPL are yet to be announced but is expected to begin in the last week of March.                 

According to McDonald, the advent of IPL has accelerated cricket and has taken the game to an altogether different level.  

'...so yeah, there's great benefits to be had, but playing at that level, being exposed, those conditions and the conversations that happen within the IPL franchises, you know, all the countries converging on one.

"I've said this before that, you know, 2008 was almost the moment where the game accelerated and it was played differently.

"I think that was really through the coming together of ideas, nations mixing with each other, players mixing, coaches mixing. And it took the game forward. We're seeing an exciting product ever since.

"So, we're excited by our guys playing there. We want more, more players playing and if we can to get that exposure," McDonald, who was associated with IPL teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in coaching capacities in the past, added.

The ICC men's World T20 is set to be hosted by Australia from October 16 to November 13 this year.

Talking of his role as Australia’s interim coach, McDonald said he has yet to hold formal discussions with governing body Cricket Australia about the possibility of taking up the full-time role following the exit of Justin Langer.

Langer, who guided Australia to their maiden Twenty20 World Cup in November and a 4-0 Ashes triumph against England last month, rejected a short-term extension and resigned this month.

McDonald was appointed on an interim basis ahead of the team's tour of Pakistan next month and is considered a front-runner for the permanent role, having effectively served as Langer's deputy since 2019.

"I haven't had any conversations either way," McDonald told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's really just been bedding down the interim role until the end of Pakistan (tour) and getting to work on the preparations, getting to work on the team.

"I'm very happy with whatever timelines they (Cricket Australia) want to work within. It won't become a distraction, that will just be happening in the background."

Cricket Australia chairman Lachie Henderson said on Monday that the governing body is open to splitting the head coach's role, conceding it was taxing for one person to coach across formats.

"Clearly I have to make a decision before that if the process is run to the timeline Cricket Australia are giving," McDonald added.

"We'll work through it once we see what the job looks like."

Former England coach Trevor Bayliss, who has also been linked with the Australia head coach job, told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday there had been "no contact" when asked if he had been interviewed for the position.

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