The Indian Premier League moving its base to the United Arab Emirates for the 2020 version may end up being a surprisingly beneficial turn of events for in any event 50 unheralded cricketers, who are set to go with the eight groups as “exclusive” net bowlers.
The franchises all these years have been using local bowlers for nets apart from the junior fringe players but the strict bio-security measures for the tournament mean that all franchise will have to arrange for quality bowlers during practice sessions.
While BCCI has capped the squad strength (players) to 24, the franchises have not been specified contingent volume which will vary from team to team but it could be safely assumed that most of the eight sides will not avail any local net bowlers.
Teams including Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Delhi Capitals affirmed that they are setting up a program of net bowlers. The rundown involves for the most part top of the line, U-19 and U-23 state level cricketers who will get the opportunity to bowl to likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant for near a month.
“If all goes well, we are planning to take around 10 bowlers exclusively to UAE for the practice sessions. They will be accompanying the team and will remain till the tournament starts,” Chennai Super Kings CEO Kashi Vishwanathan told PTI on Tuesday.
KKR Too Planned to Pack 10 Selective Bowlers:
The Kolkata Knight Riders also confirmed that they will also have 10 net bowlers in their roster, likely to be handpicked by former Mumbai captain and their academy coach Abhishek Nayar.
“It will be a blend of players of who have played Ranji Trophy while some of having played U-23 and U-19 national level tournaments,” someone who is privy to developments in the KKR camp informed.
The Delhi Capitals are also taking around six net bowlers who will be a part of the team’s “bio bubble”.
“They will be staying with the squad and will travel with the team for the net sessions,” a franchise source said.
The Rajasthan Royals are also on course to finalize the number of net bowlers they will carry. Royals as well as Royal Challengers Bangalore can fly out bowlers from their own respective academies.
“Someone like former India U-19 Aditya Thackeray could gain a lot if RCB decides to take him for net sessions where he can bowl to a Virat Kohli. Aditya is a part of the RCB developmental squad,” a senior talent scout of a franchise said.
It is expected that there will be a healthy number of spinners in the overall net bowlers’ list.
“On slow Dubai tracks, it will be important that teams stack up their line-up with more spinners, especially for humid conditions. You will see a lot of left-arm spinners and wrist spinners who have played a decent level cricket being included apart from the pacers,” the talent scout said.