Australian cricket legends Shane Warne and Mark Waugh agree that players’ international futures should be brought into question if they prioritise franchise cricket over playing for their country.
Speaking on the Road to the Ashes podcast, Warne and Waugh discussed with Michael Vaughan the conflict between club and country after seven Australian players pulled out of tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh.
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National selector Trevor Hohns said the personal decisions of the dropouts — which included Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and Steve Smith — meant those who perform against the West Indies and Bangladesh would be given greater consideration for T20 World Cup selection.
Meanwhile, the IPL is scheduled to resume in the UAE in September, which will see some of Australia’s best white ball stars recalled for T20 duty.
It’s unclear what Australians will return for the series’ remainder, should it be allowed to go ahead.
“Surely they can’t be playing in that tournament come September now,” Brendon Julian said on the podcast:
In response, Waugh agreed, saying: “I know it’s tough with bubbles and multiple players doing quarantine throughout the year.
“But country has got to take priority over franchise cricket, that’s the simple answer.”
Vaughan weighed in, saying “you wouldn’t have thought” Australia’s international stars can play out the remainder of the IPL.
But he believes national cricket boards have been dicing with danger by allowing players greater freedom in recent times to pick and choose tours.
“I think the seed has been sewn for a few years,” Vaughan said.
“England just recently were going to allow players to stay in the IPL rather than play New Zealand at Lord’s. They weren’t in the Future Tours program, but I think they’ve set a precedent there.
“Cricket has got to be very, very careful. I do think it’s down to the boards to be stronger with the players and, if they want international cricket in 20 to 30 years to still be the pinnacle … they’ve got to be stronger with players to not allow the franchises to take them.”
Meanwhile, Australia great Warne said he wouldn’t “begrudge” a player for taking up a big-money franchise deal over country — as long as they were prepared to live with the consequences.
“It’s fantastic and if they want to take the money, take the money,” he said.
“But if you want to play cricket for your country and you choose IPL over your country well then maybe you have to be punished a little bit for doing it. Not punished, that’s the wrong word.
“If you want to choose the money for IPL that’s fine no problem, but you might
have to wait a few Test matches and you might go down a few rungs no matter how good you are. There’s always someone that can replace you.’’