26 May

Paceman Mitchell Starc says he would have no issue if Cricket Australia (CA) allowed some of its biggest names to miss the early part of the Australian domestic season to play in a rescheduled Indian Premier League.

Starc opted out of this year's IPL, but the likes of Pat Cummins, David Warner and Steve Smith have all signed lucrative deals to play in the tournament, which was originally slated to start in late March but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starc says he would be happy to see his national teammates play IPL cricket during the early stages of the home domestic season if CA cleared them to play.

"Do I have an issue with it? I don't think so," the left-armer said today. "They're pre-existing contracts.

Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell has urged CA to keep their players at home in domestic cricket this year instead of allowing them to play in India. Last week, Chappell said CA should prevent their leading players from playing in the IPL, adding "the top players are well paid ... their obligation should be to Australia."

Chappel’s predecessor and former CA board member Mark, Taylor acknowledged the governing body faces "a juggling act ... to keep India happy" given India's proposed tour of Australia later in the summer will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the game. Taylor said Chappell had "a very good point" but added: "It's going to be a juggling act firstly for the players but also for the boards because the Cricket Australia board will want to keep India happy".

"They may want to let the players go to India if the IPL goes ahead because they want India to come here this summer and play, which will be our biggest summer in terms of dollars," Taylor told Nine's Sports Sunday. Playing in the IPL would also expose Australia's players to white-ball cricket in India ahead of the proposed T20 World Cup there in 2021 and 50-over World Cup there in 2023.

CA stands to benefit financially from allowing players to participate in the IPL. The league pays a release fee of between 10 and 20 percent of the full value of the players' contracts to their home boards. The 17 Australians contracted for this year's IPL hold contracts worth a collective A$17.145 million, which could be worth up to A$3.4 million to Cricket Australia.

While acknowledging the significant money on offer to play in the tournament, paceman Pat Cummins told cricket.com.au last week the chance to play in the best T20 tournament in the world had multiple cricketing benefits as well.

"The reason it was so important for so many players this year was leading into a T20 World Cup (and) even if that does get moved, it's still going to be on at some stage," said Cummins, who was bought for a tournament record fee of $A3.1 million at last year's IPL auction.

"(In previous IPL stints) I was in a position where I was bowling the last couple of overs in a situation where it could either win or lose the match ... and that's just huge experience, it just really fast-tracked (me). Rahul Dravid was my coach, I've played with Jacques Kallis, Wasim Akram was a bowling coach at Kolkata. You get to spend some time with amazing cricketers and get different insights and at the same time be put in some high-pressure situations.”

The 17 Australians with 2020 IPL deals (A$)

Pat Cummins: $3.16m (Kolkata Knight Riders), Steve Smith: $2.3m (Rajasthan Royals)*, David Warner: $2.3m (Sunrisers Hyderabad) *, Glenn Maxwell: $2.19m (Kings XI Punjab), Nathan Coulter-Nile: $1.63m (Mumbai Indians), Marcus Stoinis: $980,000 (Delhi Capitals), Aaron Finch: $897,485 (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Kane Richardson: $816,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Shane Watson: $775,000 (Chennai Super Kings) * , Alex Carey: $490,000 (Delhi Capitals), Mitch Marsh: $408,000 (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Josh Hazlewood: $408,000 (Chennai Super Kings), Chris Lynn: $408,000 (Mumbai Indians), Andrew Tye: $204,000 (Rajasthan Royals), Billy Stanlake: $97,000 (Sunrisers Hyderabad)*, Chris Green: $41,000 (Kolkata Knight Riders), Josh Philippe: $41,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

* These players were bought at the 2018 IPL auction and have since been retained by their franchises

John Stephenson



* The email will not be published on the website.