England’s IPL policy should be stricter

I was glad to see yesterday that Hugh Morris has said that England will not be relaxing their stance on centrally contracted players in the IPL in the contracts that will be awarded the September. I did not think that they would, but it is still good to know that they are not going to cut into the Test season to provide a ‘window’ or field an under-strength team just to benefit the money-grubbing BCCI.

I actually think they could do with a stricter policy and not let players join the IPL at all. The ones who aren’t playing already are rested instead of playing in the County Championship, why should that not apply to all of the centrally contracted players? (Better still, they could improve the County Championship by having all the centrally contracted players take part, but either way the current set up makes no sense.) There is always the argument that playing careers are short and players need to go for the money right now, but not only are England players pretty well compensated already there is nothing them stopping them from playing in the IPL after they retire. Indeed, ageing former Test stars seem to be the foundation for many of the T20 leagues around the world; just look at Shane Warne. Amongst the counties, Notts are already doing this with their contracted players and I suspect more will follow. If they lose out on the players then they aren’t really losing much since the players are missing so much of the Championship with the IPL anyway. Especially if England backed them up by not having the centrally contracted players in the IPL then I doubt this would be a problem for the counties.

There is no reason an England player should be missing any of the English season to play in a foreign tournament. If they must participate in a T20 festival there are some, like the Big Bash League which run during the English winter and there’s no reason not to participate in those. But if the IPL want to have England players (which they probably don’t; I don’t see why they would really care) then they can stage their season earlier so that it does not conflict with the County Championship and the Test summer.

2 thoughts on “England’s IPL policy should be stricter

  1. The ECB have extended the season back to the end of September for 2013. There will be a less congested fixture schedule, which will naturally allow more England players opportunities to both be rested and get matches in with their counties. It should be noted that the best wicketkeeper-batsman in test cricket will be playing large parts of the summer for Sussex. So too will one of the best spinners in the world be twirling away down at Hove.

    Actually, the expanded English season will also reduce pressure on the IPL vs English international & domestic cricket angle, giving both a little more breathing room to operate within.


  2. It is very good that the fixture list is less congested, but I doubt that will alter the England policy of only letting players take part in one or two LVCC matches before the first Test. Generally speaking that is the problem more than the actual congestion. Most of the players will still get hardly any time with their counties; Prior and Panesar are exceptions because they don’t play regularly in at least some formats.

    I’m not sure how much the expanded season will actually ease congestion with the IPL. By my count it will still overlap with six LVCC matches and two Tests next year which is very close to what it was last year.


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