Indian Premier League (IPL) started a trend of T20 leagues all around the world. Before IPL, there was just Big Bash League (Australia) and NatWest T20 league (England) but IPL turned out to be a game changer since its inaugural season in 2008. The league features star-studded lineups from all around the world and that’s what made it special. However, international players’ unavailability created a few problems for the franchises and players as it faltered the team combination. But that’s about to change from 2019.
International Cricket Council’s (ICC) latest Future Tour Programme (FTP) has recognised IPL. This means that there will be no international cricket during IPL. From 2019 to 2023 IPL will have all the international players selected in the player auction at their disposal as they would not be busy on national duty. IPL will become the first league to get such preference.
The April-May window will be isolated. This might create a stir among other domestic leagues — like Pakistan Super League (PSL), Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL) — as they would want an isolated window for themselves too.
Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri recently met ICC’s General Manager Geoff Allardice. It is speculated that the decision for an isolated window was taken between them.
IPL 2018 will commence from April 4 and the final will be played on May 27. Till now only two international series have been scheduled during this time — Ireland vs Zimbabwe and England vs the Netherlands.
Here’s the tentative window for IPL according to newest FTP –
3rd April to 26th May (2019)
1st April to 31st May (2020)
31st March to 30th May (2021)
30th March to 29th May (2022)
29th March to 28th May (2023)
Meanwhile, there are reports that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has opposed the FTP and asked for a bilateral series between India and Pakistan.