Bengaluru: Former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir feels players should not skip the Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to keep themselves fresh for World Cup in England.

The 12th edition of the IPL will start on March 23 and the World Cup will commence from May 30. While there is a school of thought that thinks players should be rested from the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament, Gambhir thinks otherwise.

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“Playing the IPL is a fabulous opportunity for most of the guys to be in peak form because you are only bowling four overs. It is not like there is a lot of physical burden on you. It is four overs plus you will be bowling in difficult conditions as well. That is going to keep you in good shape as well,” Gambhir, who recently retired from all forms of the game, said in Bengaluru on Tuesday during the launch of Funngage PowerPlayer cricket scholarship programme.

Gambhir, who led the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to two IPL titles, feels players could be fresh physically for the World Cup by opting out of the tournament, but will be lacking in form for the showpiece event.

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“You miss the IPL and suddenly say I am going to the World Cup fresh and raring to go, that is only from the physical point of view. You might be fresh physically but skill-wise you got to be playing the IPL against some of the high-quality players. If you do well it will stand you in good stead for the World Cup.

“Imagine someone like (Jasprit) Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) bowling well in the death overs (in IPL) and how confident they would be going in to the World Cup. And some of the middle-order batsmen finishing the games for their franchises. Playing the IPL can be a blessing in disguise. We keep talking about missing the IPL or telling some of the key players to skip the IPL because of the World Cup. I don't think so. I think MS Dhoni made a very good point when he said it is going to be a great opportunity for the players to be in prime form (for the World Cup) from the skill point of view,” Gambhir said.