England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Ashley Giles gave his opinion about the cash-rich Indian Premier League on Friday.
He credited the tournament for being one of the reasons behind England’s success in the limited-overs format in the last few years. However, he also stated that the players are never forced to pick between playing for the national team and the IPL.
“In my briefings with the players, I have encouraged players to think very carefully about what their programs are. I have not directed them,” Giles told Sky Sports.
“We aren’t forcing either way. The IPL isn’t going anywhere. It has extreme benefits to us. From this group here, I think, we have 12 of the 16 players going to the IPL. Years ago we found it very difficult for players to get into the IPL to experience that tournament. Now all of our players are in high demand and it’s probably the big reason why we are No. 1 in the world in both white-ball formats,” Giles said.
Some of the most prominent current players have bagged decent contracts in the IPL such as Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals), Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Sam Curran, Dawid Malan, and Moeen Ali.
This year England’s international schedule is set to clash with IPL, as the tournament will begin from April 9, while England’s Test series against New Zealand will commence from June 2.
“We have agreed for players to go to the IPL. Those two Test matches were arranged late, they didn’t form part of the original schedule. We had agreed with the players and with the IPL that the players would be available right through the tournament and if they got to the later stages, they would be able to participate,” Giles said.
“We haven’t reneged on that and I don’t think we should. We should stick to that, from a contractual point of view as much as anything,” he added.