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What IPL cancellation could mean for overseas players vying for WT20 spots

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What IPL cancellation could mean for overseas players vying for WT20 spots

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Anirudh Suresh


With the future of IPL 2020 hanging by a meagre thread, there are anxious cricketers not only in India but all around the world, for it could determine their participation in the World T20. We, here at SportsCafe, look at what the potential cancellation of IPL could mean to these players.

We’ve already, in-depth, looked at what the cancellation of IPL could mean for the future of several Indian players, so now it’s time to explore the rest of the world.  Mind you, and I say this with conviction, scrapping IPL 2020 off could potentially end decorated careers, so there are more than a handful of cricketers who are desperately hoping for the Covid-19 outbreak to cease. Could you imagine the sickening feeling if the one last chance you had to make things right in your life were to be abruptly taken away from you? Yep, that’s exactly what these players must be going through right now. Either way, who are these players and what’s at stake for them in the next couple of months?

South Africa

AB de Villiers

South Africa and AB de Villiers, for more than a year now, have behaved like a split couple that are always on the verge of getting back. But they just have not been able to make that final compromise to patch things up. IPL 2020 was all set to be AB de Villiers’ comeback present to his ex-lover, but that now has been snatched away from him by the Covid-19 outbreak. Cancellation of the tournament would mean that de Villiers would have missed a golden opportunity to prove his faith and loyalty, meaning everything will rest in the hands of coach Mark Boucher, who can take ABD back by taking into account the ex-batsman’s past actions. 

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 65%

Imran Tahir

The fallout of Tahir in international cricket has been quite astounding - from bowling the first ball of the 2019 World Cup, he now finds himself behind Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin in the pecking order. Which was also exactly why IPL 2020 was deemed to be crucial for him, as in the tournament, he would have had the chance to leapfrog both his compatriots. That now seems like a long, long shot, and I’m afraid that with age not on his side - he is 10 days away from celebrating his 41st birthday - we might never see Tahir in Proteas colours again should the IPL not go ahead.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 40%

Chris Morris

Like Tahir, Chris Morris is another household name who is more popular in India than he is in South Africa. Even a sound BBL campaign - where he ended as the second-highest wicket-taker - did not quite convince the South African selectors to pick him in the team which, in turn, meant that his WT20 selection rested on his IPL performance. Cancellation would mean that not only would he miss out on the 10 crore that RCB dished out to him, but also a seat in the plane to Australia. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 30%

Dale Steyn

South Africa have been clever in using the word ‘rested’ as a smokescreen to mask the fact that Steyn is no more a regular starter in the XI and in all honesty, a strong IPL season was the only way for him to change that fact. The tournament would have also served as a great platform for him to prove his fitness to the selectors, that his body can function for a couple of months without breaking down. It’s no mystery that he has, of late, been outperformed by both Ngidi and Nortje and so he desperately needed a sound IPL to re-stamp his authority. Well, the cancellation would mean that he might, at best, need to settle for a place in the squad just to serve drinks to his teammates.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 85%


Chris Lynn

Chris Lynn turning himself into a T20 merchant has not gone down too well with the Aussie selectors - showcased by them not even considering him for selection - and the IPL, if anything, was his only shot at booking a ticket to the World T20 later this year. So what will happen if the tournament gets called off? Well, nothing much. He would have missed the only flight that was available, meaning he would have to stay back home and watch the action unfold from his couch like us, the fans.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 5%

Marcus Stoinis

The memo given by the Aussie selectors to Marcus Stoinis was clear - play in the middle order to be considered for selection. And after his scarcely believable BBL season, there was a good chance of him getting a few gigs with the Delhi franchise in the middle-order. Him not getting a hit in the next two months would virtually mean that his WT20 hopes would be all but over, especially with D’Arcy Short making a strong case for himself to be in the squad through his professional showing in the South Africa series. 

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 30%

Mitchell Marsh

After *finally* getting a T20 recall in the South Africa series - and failing - IPL 2020 was set to be key to Marsh Jr’s hopes of making it to the WT20 squad. It’s no secret that Australia are still desperately seeking a finisher and through an authoritative IPL - especially with Turner struggling and Stoinis not in the picture - Marsh could have sealed a place in the fifteen. That looks like a distant dream now.  Back to square one for the all-rounder, who would again, unfortunately, have to deal with all the nepotism jokes.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 50%

Josh Hazlewood

In the limited opportunities he’s got in limited-overs cricket in the last six months, Josh Hazlewood has done everything within his powers to attract the attention of the selectors - he’s been good in ODIs and bowled the Sydney Sixers to their second BBL title. It is, in fact, astounding that his birth in the WT20 squad is not yet a certainty. The IPL would have provided the perfect platform to book a business class seat but it now looks like he might have to wait. Even if Australia consider Kane Richardson as their third seamer, you would imagine that Hazlewood would walk into the 15 as the fourth pacer.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 70%

West Indies

Chris Gayle

Is the Universe Boss a specimen who has retired from international cricket or does he plan to play T20Is for the Windies? Is he in the selectors and Pollard’s plan for the WT20? Well if the IPL does get cancelled, these questions will remain unanswered. Should it go on, at least we would have got an answer from the man himself, as he often tends to give away important details in candid chats? But having persisted with Lewis, Simmons and now Brandon King, it’s hard to see Gayle making it to WT20 squad having played no ‘competitive’ cricket whatsoever. But then again, who knows? We’re talking about WICB, after all. 

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 50%

Isn’t Sunil Narine like the IPL itself? There’s plenty of hype surrounding him, you only get a glimpse of him for two months and POOOF, he’s gone, just like that. The Windies moving forward with Fabian Allen and Hayden Walsh Jr is further evidence to the fact they have moved on with Sunil Narine and what he brings to the table and given he’s an outcast now, he would have needed to have an extraordinary IPL to be considered for selection. That his bowling has deteriorated doesn’t help his cause either. Should the tournament be scrapped though, there is no way that we might see Narine playing for the Windies come October - not on Australian wickets, at least. 

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 15%


Tom Banton

To go along with the 74 runs Tom Banton managed to score in 7 innings in the PSL, him getting omitted from England’s T20I squad against South Africa was a further incentive for the youngster to make the world note of him through a startling IPL. He desperately needed a resounding IPL for two reasons - to keep his intact after an underwhelming PSL and to book a place in the WT20 squad. But it looks like he would now have no option but to watch his mates take the field from his home. In fact, England elevating Jos Buttler to the top further dilutes the right-hander’s case for selection.

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 40%

Tom Curran

Tom Curran has shown his mettle - with both and ball - in the BBL, showed glimpses of it in the South Africa series, but for him to establish himself as a ‘go-to man’, for Morgan to trust him, especially in the case of a Jofra Archer injury, the 25-year-old needed an IPL season where he brought out all his armoury whilst being under the pump. That being taken away from him, seven months ahead of the World T20, might mean that he would have to only settle for a place in the 15 as a back-up seamer and not as a regular.  

Probability of making it to WT20 squad: 60%

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