India's biggest cricketing festival, the Indian Premier League is just a few days away now. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also announced the full-fledged schedule for the league stage of the tournament. The first match of the 15th edition of the Indian T20 League is all set to be played on 26 March between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
While the scheduling for IPL is done in such a manner that it does not clash with any big international series, the addition of two new teams has stretched the whole process. The number of league games has increased to 70 meaning an increase in the number of match days. This also means that the IPL is now set to clash with a few international series creating a problem about the availability of overseas players.
While a few of the Australian players are set to miss a few games in the early stage of the tournament due to their series against Pakistan, there was also a doubt about New Zealand players with the Netherlands set to tour the island nation between 25 March and 4 April. However, the head coach has confirmed that the players involved in IPL will be available from the first game as they will skip the Netherlands series.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson among prominent names
With the news coming, the majority of the franchises will be relieved. Teams like Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Gujarat Titans have heavily invested in some New Zealand players. While Chennai are looking at Devon Conway as Faf du Plessis' replacement, RR have Trent Boult as their frontline seamer. Lockie Ferguson is going to be a key player for Gujarat Titans with his ability to click 140+ on a regular basis.
Few gun young players like Finn Allen, Tim Seifert, and Glenn Philips are also going to be crucial for their respective franchise in the absence of main players. Allen has been roped in by RCB and can be used at the top of the order alongside du Plessis while Philips will always be a good option for SRH in the middle order.