IPL 2022: England’s embarrassing performances in the ongoing Ashes series will have forced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reconsider its Test players being allowed to pursue their IPL interests.
England have once again suffered humiliation in the Ashes down under as they trail by 3-0 in the first four Tests and marginally avoided defeat in the fourth Test. This has put light on the fact that last year some of the players – Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes – were allowed to participate in the IPL 2021 while they missed the 2-Test home series versus New Zealand, which England lost 1-0. They also trail 2-1 to India in the unfinished series.
Now, a recent report in The Mirror on Wednesday has said that the ECB is “planning to try to limit the involvement of England players in the IPL as part of a renewed attempt to prioritise Test cricket” following the Ashes debacle.
“The ECB are conducting a full review into England’s Ashes defeat, with managing director Ashley Giles preparing a report which will include a number of recommendations to improve the Test team’s fortunes,” the report added.
According to the Times, one of the plans is to restrict players’ participation in the IPL to “just the first few weeks”. The IPL has expanded to 10 teams now and is reported to start at the end of March and go on till late May or even early June.
This means that the playoff matches could clash with the start of England’s home Test series against New Zealand which is part of the World Test Championship.
Therefore, if the ECB is limiting their Test players’ availability to the first few weeks, it won’t be a good idea for the IPL franchises to shell out big money on England’s Test players.
The report said that England players signed in the auction will be asked to “cut short their time in the IPL so that they can play some first-class cricket before the New Zealand series begins”.
For now, Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) has been retained; Moeen Ali (Chennai Super Kings) is the other Englishman to be retained, however, he retired from Test cricket last year.
Several England Test players’ – including the likes of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow – are likely to put in their names for the IPL mega auction. But, should they be bought, they will come with the caveat that they can be asked to leave the tournament mid-way by the ECB.