Pacer Josh Hazlewood has hinted they may be better off playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) instead of Australian domestic cricket, considering the league’s success in moulding decent cricketers into “much better players”.
Hazlewood, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, is one of the one few Australian players who turn out in all three formats of the game and is part of the enlarged 26-man squad that was named for the tour of England last week.
Under the current circumstances, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the cricket calendar, Hazlewood also admitted the prospect of the IPL taking place creates some “tough” decisions for those with deals in the cash-rich league.
“There are a few things to fall into place yet but the IPL is such a huge part of the year for a lot of players and probably the strongest T20 competition in the world, up there with the Big Bash, and you learn a lot about how to play your T20 cricket and how to play in those conditions,” he said.
“You’ve seen guys come out of it much better players so there’s a lot of positives to it, so if that takes a few games off us playing for New South Wales in the build-up to the international summer that’s a tough call, (and) probably comes back to the individual,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
He also said that it is imperative that players, especially fast bowlers, get to train while undergoing quarantine.
“As long as we can train during that period it will be okay, it’s if we come back and we can’t train during that two-week period,” he said.
“We’ve built these loads up as fast bowlers then two weeks really hurts us coming into a summer of Test cricket.
“As far as red-ball ball cricket goes I feel I only need one, maximum two games, to get ready for a Test. There have been summers where we’ve come from a white-ball tour and only played one (red-ball game) and it’s been fine.”
Reacting to England pacer Jofra Archer breaching the strict bio-security protocols put in place for the ongoing Test series against the West Indies, Hazlewood said the players must not put the game’s return in jeopardy.
“Absolutely. I think Jofra is one example and there’s been examples in the NRL and AFL as well. Just by hugging a mate in the crowd you miss a week,” said Hazlewood.
“So we’ve got to keep those strict guidelines in place to get the sport to go ahead. So we’ll obviously learn from that mistake.”
Regarding Dom Sibley inadvertently using saliva on the ball during the second Test at Manchester, he said, “It’s a pretty natural habit… it’s just such a reaction to see a spot on the ball that needs fixing and you go and put some saliva on.
“You’ve been doing it since five years old so it will take a while to break the habit but obviously conscious of it on the field.”