IPL 2023: 'There should be no restrictions on players' - Manjrekar refutes Rohit Sharma's workload comment
Even as Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma came up with a sympathetic outlook towards players set to undergo the rigours of the two-month-long IPL 2023, Sanjay Manjrekar believes, the veteran cricketer's remarks on workload concerns was not fair on the franchises.
Rohit had indicated at MI's press conference that he could be skipping a few games of the IPL if required to manage his workload and expects players across the board to be open about their fatigue and take rests whenever needed.
At a separate press conference held after the final ODI versus Australia, the Indian skipper had admitted that the "franchises own" the players and have the right to determine how much playing time is to be extracted out of each of their resources. But he also expected the players to look after their bodies, adding "if they feel that it's getting a little too much, they can always talk about it and have a break in one or two games."
Manjrekar indirectly refuted this comment in a pre-IPL show for ESPNcricinfo. The former India cricketer was asked whether Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya shall be mindful of his load with the ball, keeping in mind he is also the premier India allrounder and this is a World Cup year.
Manjrekar on Rohit's remarks on workload during IPL 2023
For Manjrekar, it's unfair on the franchises and the IPL for the blame for players' injuries to lie with it entirely since cricketers also go down playing the international game. The cricketer turned commentator reckons IPL shall enjoy "special status" with the Indian cricket authorities and franchises shall have the luxury to use their players for as long as possible in the season.
"IPL's success is largely dependent on players' fitness, and that everyone plays to their best potential," Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo. "Fans love this tournament, it's quite popular, so, I'm not a fan of players resting during the IPL so that they can play the World Cup. Because, see, the players can get injured even during international matches. Anything can happen."
"There should be no restrictions on players in IPL. Owners spend money on them and they should have the freedom to use a player as much as they want. IPL should be given a special status in that regard," he added.
To be fair to him, Rohit, too, had said "I doubt if it will happen" in context of a potential scenario wherein IPL franchises can rest Indian players considering their workload and tight international calendar.
The Indian team have been constantly on the road and will be playing the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) from June 7, less than 10 days after the IPL 2023 final.