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‘Practice games for Team India or playing IPL matches’: Scheduling debate heats up ahead of T20 World Cup | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The scheduling of the ongoing Indian Premier League has come under scrutiny with the T20 World Cup set to commence just a week after the IPL final. Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh and former India captain Anil Kumble have expressed contrasting views on the matter.
Harbhajan Singh, voicing his concerns on Star Sports, criticized the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the tight scheduling, stressing the importance of adequate preparation for the World Cup.He suggested that the Indian team should play at least 4-5 practice games before their opening match against Ireland in New York on June 5.
“Yes, I believe it would have been better for them to have 4-5 games, you know, collectively playing against some top team like England or Australia in America, just to get used to those conditions. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. But now, whatever small window we have, those two games, we have to make the best use of it. Going forward, it is a great suggestion. When you are playing a tournament like the World Cup or WTC, the team should play together for 10-15 days, it will be better,” Harbhajan remarked.
In contrast, Anil Kumble, speaking on Jio Cinema, argued that the IPL itself provides excellent preparation for the T20 World Cup. He highlighted the intensity and competitiveness of the IPL as key factors that adequately prepare players for the global tournament.
“With regard to the Indian players, people who are not part of the playoffs will certainly be going early, and the guys who will be playing or who will be part of the playoffs will leave immediately after the IPL. So I don’t see any reason why the preparation should be different. I don’t think there’s any issue with that,” Kumble stated.
Kumble further emphasized that the experience gained from playing multiple IPL matches is invaluable.
“You can’t get a better sort of preparation for the World Cup than playing in an IPL where you played either 14 matches or 16 or 17. So, in that sense, you’ve prepared really well in this tournament in terms of any situation and under pressure you played. So it’s a good sort of understanding of where your game is and going into the World Cup,” he added.

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