Mid-season transfers will add more value to IPL – Rohit Sharma
For all its claims of being at the cutting edge of T20 innovation, the Indian Premier League has remained fairly rigid in how teams can acquire players. The player auction and specific player trading windows ahead of a season are the only ways for teams to draft in players. In the event of an injury, the technical committee can then allow to name a replacement player.
Each team is allowed to carry a squad of 25 members, which despite being pruned down from 27, remains too large for those in the fringes to get game time, given that teams play an average of 18-19 players over the course of the season. Murmurs of a mid-season transfer window made the rounds for the first time in 2016 when Dale Steyn was consigned to the Gujarat Lions bench while at least two other teams were in desperate need of an overseas fast bowler.
Since then the concept of a five-day transfer window was floated in the IPL governing council meetings. In it’s rudimentary form, it could allow transfers of uncapped players who have played no more than two games in the season by the half-way mark of the two-month long tournament. It’s an idea that found acceptance with Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma.
“The mid-season transfer window will give the teams an opportunity to see what they need in the squad and other teams will also be looking at what players they can get,” Rohit said. “It completely depends on the franchise if a situation comes when we need to get a player or give a player. It is good for the tournament and will add even more value to it,” the Mumbai Indians skipper said.
Head coach Mahela Jayawardene, an avid follower of Manchester United and the English Premier League that allows for a mid-season transfer window, saw the move as the next step in the evolution of franchise-based tournament.
“This is the evolution for the franchise model going forward,” he said. “It’s a great option. The opportunity is there and it’s quite new to all franchises to go through the season half-way and discuss how best we can address that.
By embracing the DRS for the first time ahead of IPL 2018, the tournament has shown an inclination to warm up to changes and Jayawardene saw no reason why such changes would be detrimental to the league structure or the development of the players.
“It’s going [the] football way – like transfer, technology being used, and investing in younger players is always going to be healthy for international cricket. If you see the Indian white-ball team now, most players have come through IPL. It’s always healthy. I don’t see any problem,” he said
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