It has been confirmed that Australia’s tour of the West Indies next year will clash with the IPL. Having seen the full schedule, I don’t really mind this. The tour starts before the IPL does, so we won’t have the ridiculous scenario where players fly in two days before a Test match. And it should come as no suprise to anyone that I do not care one jot about the success of the IPL. It will probably raise the question again of whether there ought to be a window for the IPL, though. I don’t think there ought to be, of course. We don’t have a window for County Championship matches, which still form the premier domestic league. We don’t have windows for any other T20 competition either and if we did there would not be any time for international cricket. So there shouldn’t be a window for the IPL.
It would, however, still be best for both Test cricket and the IPL if they didn’t clash. The last thing the Windies need is for their crowds to be watching IPL matches on TV instead of watching the Tests at the ground. And the IPL is more of a draw when there are international stars around. The IPL fancies itself a football league, however, and that provides a possible solution. European football leagues have a hiatus when there are international matches to ensure that the players are available. I don’t see why the IPL could not do the same. There aren’t any six week holes in the calendar, but there are gaps throughout the summer especially if the number of useless ODIs are decreased. (And actually I don’t think anyone would care too much if the IPL clashed with an ODI.) The IPL would probably benefit from spreading out it’s matches anyway; crowds were down last year and this would make it more of an event. Next to abolishing the IPL completely, I think this is the best solution.