Following Jonny Bairstow‘s terrific century against the West Indies on Day 1 of the Antigua Test, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan took a cheeky dig at those people who have been blaming the involvement of England’s Test players in the IPL for their embarrassing 4-0 Ashes loss in Australia.
The ECB have copped plenty of criticism, particular from a number of their former cricketers, for their poor show in Test cricket over the past year, the blame being shifted onto England’s Test players playing in the IPL. In fact, the likes of Joe Root, and Ben Stokes pulled out of the IPL 2022 mega-auction as England aim for a red-ball reset following the Ashes debacle.
Jonny Bairstow remained unbeaten on 109 as he helped England bounce back after they had been reeling a 48/4. Same top-order failure in the reset for England.
Irfan Pathan rattled those detractors of the IPL with a sassy tweet, sarcastically asking whether Bairstow played in the IPL.
Irfan Pathan keeps sharing his views on social media and this time he used the opportunity to send a subtle message across to all those who criticise IPL for their national team’s failure.
Jonny Bairstow plays IPL?
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 9, 2022
Upon pulling out his name from the IPL mega-auction earlier in the year, England Test captain Joe Root had said that he wants to focus all his energies to the reinvigoration of the Test side, and asserted that he “will never compromise” on his Test ambitions.
“There’s a lot that we need to do for this [Test] team, which deserves all of my energy,” Root had said. “I’ll keep sacrificing as much as I can because I care so much about Test cricket in our country and trying to get us to where we want to be.”
“I will never compromise or do anything that will detract from playing Test cricket for England. It is so important to make sure that is the priority for me.”
Last year, several of England’s Test players were allowed to miss the home Test series against New Zealand for the IPL. The series losses to New Zealand, India and Australia in the last year have further put the ECB under condemnation from fans and former cricketers.