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No restriction on World Cup-bound Indian players' IPL participation: Virat Kohli

The 2019 edition of the IPL is slated to take place from March 23 to May 19 while India are scheduled to begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5. 

No restriction on World Cup-bound Indian players' IPL participation: Virat Kohli
Image Courtesy: PTI

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has reiterated that the World Cup-bound players need to keep watch on their workloads carefully, however, confirming that there have been no instructions to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises to cap the number of matches each player would play throughout the tournament.

When quizzed if the IPL franchises have been asked to manage the workloads of the Indian players who are likely to take part in the showpiece event,  Kohli was quick to deny the same. 

 "You cannot put a cap on anything. If I'm able to play 10, 12 or 15 games, it doesn't necessarily mean that the other guy can only play that many. My body might demand I play a certain number of games and I need to be smart about that and rest, "ESPNcricinfo quoted Kohli as saying. 

Kohli, who was speaking during the launch of a new app for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, added, "Someone else's body might be more capable than mine or less, that is a very individual thing. And everyone wants to play the World Cup, so people will be smart about it because you don't want to miss out on such a big event."

The 30-year-old swashbuckling batsman further said that all the Indian players would take the responsibility to keep eye on their workloads and fitness during the IPL, adding that his teammates would see the T20 lucrative tournament as a chance to be in a good frame of mind ahead of the World Cup. 

"And to continue the frame of mind we have created in the Indian team - strive towards excellence and improve every day. Each player will take this tournament as an opportunity to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind," he said. 

Meanwhile, former left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra believes that the IPL would help in keeping the players in form while a longer rest before the World Cup could make them counterproductive.

"If somebody tells Virat Kohli that you are not playing this IPL, come fresh for the World Cup, I don't think it's the right way. If he's only practicing, that practice is different [from match play]. The IPL is a pressure tournament, it is as good as international cricket, that's why everybody wants to play. So you are going to the World Cup through that pressure," Nehra said.

Stressing on the importance of active rest, Nehra further pointed out that there would be at least a three-week gap between the finals of the IPL and India's first World Cup match--something which is enough for the players. 

"There's a three-week gap between the IPL final and India's first game [at the World Cup]. If you're not injured, three weeks is enough time. If someone tells me, 'You bowl in the IPL final today and then for the next three weeks you don't bowl, and then bowl straightaway against South Africa' - I would not like to do that. Active rest is very important, not just for fast bowlers but for everyone," the former bowler said. 

The 2019 edition of the IPL is slated to take place from March 23 to May 19 while India are scheduled to begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.