The England and Wales Cricket Board director, Ashley Giles had confirmed that the England players’ priority will be international matches and there is no assurance for them to play the second half of the Indian Premier League 2021. However, there are rumors that the IPL will be over by September.
Two months earlier the ECB had stated that they would let their players play IPL not only for the money but also for the valuable opportunity for them to prepare for the upcoming T20 World cup. Players who were fit made themselves available for IPL while other multi-format players took a break from the game.
However, the freedom for them will not be the same for four months as Ashley Giles says that England players might not participate in the second half of the IPL tournament 2021. Giles asserted that it’s the board’s responsibility to take care of the players’ health and fitness for them to be available for International games.
“We’re planning on the involvement of England players in England matches. We’ve got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh (In September and October) are going ahead, I’d expect the players to be there,” Giles reported to ESPN.
“The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalized at the end of January, by that time all those contracts and NOCs (No Objection Certificates) were signed for full involvement in the IPL.”
“None of us know what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment; where it’s going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our program is incredibly busy. We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we are going to have to look after our players.”
Though the Covid-19 situation in the UK is currently improving, the England players must secure themselves in bubbles in order to play all matches during summer. The players are packed up with a tight schedule for the upcoming four months to play against New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan and as humans they need some freedom as well.
“We think it’s probably unreasonable to expect that our players could be in bubbles all summer. We want to keep them in safe environments, obviously. But we are really aware of the importance for these guys, their time with loved ones, families in particular. That’s the balance we are trying to strike.
We are hoping this year that as we see society move a certain way, that we can move with it. It could be the case that we may start tighter, as society is right now, and look to release, as everything else does.”
Giles wants the players to manage their workload and hopes that England players may involve themselves in the Hundred.
“We’d love them to be involved in the Hundred at some point and the launch of that competition. It would be great to have our best players playing in it.
But we’ll have to look at workloads very carefully. We’ve got a lot of cricket coming up so it’s a difficult juggling act but I know the players are also looking forward to that tournament and would love to be involved at some stage if they can.”