Kolkata, Feb 19: Even as the BCCI has dropped a hint that it will keep an eye on the workload of India players during the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore on Tuesday said they have not got any directive of that sort yet, also expressing confidence that a situation like that will not arise and things will work out well.
“It’s a hypothetical situation to be honest. I don’t think it will arise because, having been around cricketers and coaches, they always feel that when you’re playing competitive cricket it’s better than having net sessions and what not,” Mysore told reporters on the sidelines of the Mayors Cup at the Eden Gardens here.
Besides Mysore, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik and head coach-cum-mentor of the academy Abhishek Nayar were also present to give away prizes.
“The way it plays out, the final is only two teams on May 12. Then in the playoffs… so it is not like everyone involved in the tournament is going to be… depends on which teams make it and all that… I think its all going to work out well,” Mysore said.
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and chief selector M.S.K. Prasad have recently hinted that they will keep a close eye on the workload of India players during the IPL keeping in the mind the forthcoming ICC World Cup in May.
The World Cup, to be played in the UK from May 30 to July 14, comes close on the heels of the IPL, starting March 23.
“We have not heard any such thing from them. The tournament is finishing early enough. If May 12 is the final, and India plays its first game on June 5, I think there is enough of a gap but we have not had any such guidance or instruction,” Mysore said when asked whether they have heard anything from the board yet.
Last November, in a meeting convened by the Committee of Administration (CoA) members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji and attended by Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Shastri, Ajinkya Rahane and chief selector Prasad, the India captain had suggested that key pacers like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and others in the fray for the World Cup should not play a big part in the cash-rich T20 tournament.
Due to the general elections, IPL games this time might take place at neutral venues as the BCCI might have to do away with the home and away format.
Mysore said there is a “strong possibility” of that happening and as a franchise they would hope that they get to play as many matches as they can at Eden.
“There is a strong possibility of that. From what I hear, they want to have the whole tournament in India. So it could be that there are neutral venues in India rather than neutral venues outside and we are happy with that.”
“It is a different year. Let’s hope somehow the dates will work out in a way that we have as many games as possible at Eden,” he said.
The fixtures of the first two weeks was announced on Tuesday while the rest of the schedule is likely to be announced after the election dates are out.
With KKR set to open their IPL campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on March 24, Mysore said the pre-tournament camp could be held in the second week of March.
“We are still trying to figure it out because a lot of it depends on player availability.”
“They have different domestic and international commitments. Ideally we target at least 10 days before the start of the tournament. So it can March 12 or 13. Let’s see, many of the players might end up being in Mumbai for some reason. So we may have three-four days of something there and then we come over here,” he said.
Mysore was asked if the franchises were consulted by the BCCI before taking the decision to host the IPL in India.
“The overwhelming view on everyone’s part was that we should play in India. IPL is one of the biggest sporting products that has come out of the world. So why take it out? But having said that, it is a big year for the country from an election standpoint.
“So the BCCI asked all of us before taking the call. When they asked me I said I would rather play at a neutral venue in India than anywhere outside. They were happy to hear that,” he said.
He was also asked about KKR’s contribution to the Pulwama terror attacks.
“We got something yesterday. We have been thinking about it. On a continuous basis we do a lot of things. We also have a CSR side to our activities.
“We have always been doing whatever is necessary. So to step up not only in the form of writing cheques but also in kind and time. That’s the tougher part. We do a charity golf tournament to raise money for good cause. This is something that we are looking at,” he said.