CA to probe if IPL had role in injury woes

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Justin Langer admits the timing of last year's Indian Premier League was far from ideal, pondering whether it could have played a part in the injury-cursed summer both sides have endured.

Australia and India's depth has been tested in recent months.

David Warner, who suffered a groin strain at the SCG last November after captaining Hyderabad to the IPL finals, has been the hosts' most high-profile concern during both the Test and white-ball series.

Some of the tourists' pain has been created by impact injuries, like Ravindra Jadeja's dislocated thumb and Mohammed Shami's broken arm.

But soft-tissue injuries to Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal), Ishant Sharma (side strain), Umesh Yadav (calf) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh) have decimated India's pace stocks.

Sharma and Kumar both suffered setbacks while the IPL was on and never landed in Australia, while Bumrah and Yadav took part in the Twenty20 tournament before tweaking a muscle in the current Test series.

The IPL was slated to start in March last year but the COVID-19 pandemic meant it ran from September-November, overlapping with the start of Australia's domestic season.

Langer declared he loved the IPL, likening its upside to the role that county cricket once played in helping Australia's Test side, but not so much the timing of it in 2020.

"I've said this is going to be the survival of the fittest this summer. It's really interesting how many injuries there's been," Australia's coach said.

"I can't help but think that the IPL this year ... probably wasn't ideal timing for anyone, certainly for such a big series like this.

"I just wonder whether that's having an impact on the injuries we're seeing for both teams throughout the summer. I'm sure we'll review that."

Some Australian stars have been living in a biosecure bubble since flying out for a white-ball tour of England in August.

Cricket Australia medico Andrew Weller is already probing whether there is any link between that unique preparation for a home summer and the various injuries that have cropped up since.

"We're going to try to see if there's any answers," Langer said.

This year's IPL is expected to follow Australia's Test tour of South Africa, raising fears about the physical and mental toll.

The T20 bonanza generally falls in CA's player-leave period, meaning there is rarely a schedule clash that would prevent Australian stars from pocketing million-dollar salaries from cashed-up franchises.