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Faf du Plessis concerned over players taking IPL workload ahead of World Cup

Quite a few South African players take part in the IPL and the Proteas will be keeping a close watch on them this season.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

International cricket schedules are so tight nowadays that even in the run-up to the sport’s biggest event – the World Cup – the players do not get enough rest. The year 2019 is set to witness something similar as the quadrennial tournament is scheduled just after the Indian Premier League (IPL) which has put a lot of cricket boards, including the BCCI, to spare a special thought about the well-being of the cricketers before they go to the big event.

The first ball of the ICC World Cup will be bowled on May 30 when hosts England take on South Africa at the Oval while the final of the IPL will be played on May 19, leaving a very narrow space for the players to recuperate and join the World Cup with a fresh mind and body. India will be beginning their campaign in the World Cup only on June 5 since the Lodha Committee recommendations demand a minimum of a 15-day gap between the IPL and the next big assignment.

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Du Plessis particularly concerned with his bowlers’ fitness

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has expressed concern ahead of the 12th edition of the IPL which will kick off in March saying the back-to-back schedule of the cash-rich tournament and the World Cup could pose a threat to the players’ fitness and he doesn’t want any of his players sustaining an injury in the run-up to the World Cup.

Du Plessis, who plays for Chennai Super Kings, has had his share of injuries as well and missed a few matches last year. One of his bigger concerns is the fitness of his fast bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn, who returned from injury only recently after the Proteas had a harrowing experience with their bowlers’ fitness in recent times.

“The obvious one for me is the IPL. The IPL is just before the World Cup, and the last thing you want is one of your bowlers getting injured just before the tournament. That’s a concern for us, seeing how we can play that scenario out best,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz ahead of his team’s second Test against Pakistan.

“With Dale [Steyn], or KG [Rabada] or any other bowlers, in terms of workload, the World Cup is still quite a while away. Probably you’ll see that closer to the World Cup we’ll think about stuff like managing workloads.”

Rabada, who finished as the highest wicket-taker in Tests in 2018, said recently that he was a feeling a bit tired over the past three months and it has put the South African team management under all the more worry. Rabada plays for Delhi Capitals and an intense IPL season could see the young fast bowler jaded by the time the World Cup is here.

Quite a few South African players take part in the IPL and the Proteas will be keeping a close watch on them this season.

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