Australian coach Justin Langer questioned the timing of last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday as he blamed the tournament for his team’s recent injury issues as well as the India. Both teams have been hit hard by injuries since resuming their rivalry in November, just days after the IPL was completed on November 10 in the UAE.
The IPL took place in the September-November window of 2020 in the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lucrative tournament is usually held in India during the April-May window, but had to be postponed following the outbreak.
Since the end of the tournament, players from both sides have been sidelined with injuries. For Australia, David Warner missed the T20I series as well as the first two tests and struggled with his fitness in the third test after suffering a groin injury in the second ODI. For India, the latest addition to the casualty list is Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari as well as spearhead Jasprit Bumrah.
Previously, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav had been excluded from the series due to the various injuries sustained. And as the teams battle injury, Justin Langer believes the timing of the IPL could be the reason.
“The number of injuries [there have] been throughout this summer. I can’t help but think this year’s IPL (2020) was really, probably not the perfect time for anyone, certainly for such a great series like this, “ Justin Langer said at a virtual press conference.
At the same time, the former Australian opener also praised the IPL, saying it helps the development of young players.
“I love the IPL. I watch IPL now like I used to watch county cricket for our young players. They go play county cricket and it helps them [in] their cricket development tremendously, I think it’s the same with IPL, helps their white ball development.
“But the timing… because of what happened with COVID… probably wasn’t ideal, and I’m just wondering if that has an impact on the injuries we’re seeing for both teams throughout it. ‘summer, so I’m sure they’ll be reviewing this, “ Justin Langer said.