Ashley Giles, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director, has hinted that the centrally-contracted England players involved in the IPL 2021 are unlikely to feature in the rescheduled tournament, wherever and whenever it takes place.
The IPL 2021 was suspended last week due to Covid-19 outburst in franchises. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is adamant about completing the remaining tournament whenever they see the opportunity this year – most likely in the window before or after the T20 World Cup, which runs from mid-October to mid-November.
Ashley Giles, however, said the England players to be selected in the national side won’t be available for the re-modified IPL season owing to their packed schedule.
We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes: Ashley Giles
England will start its season with a home Test series against New Zealand, for which the board had earlier allowed its IPL players to miss the two Tests, and it will be followed by white-ball matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and then a Test series with Virat Kohli’s men.
After the Test series against India at home, which ends on September 14th, the Three Lions are scheduled for a limited-overs tour of Bangladesh and then Pakistan ahead of the World Cup. Post the T20 mega-event, which is also likely to move out of India, England will travel to Australia for the high-profile Ashes series followed by a tour to West Indies.
Hence, players like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, and possibly Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy stand a chance to miss the remainder of IPL 2021.
“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,” Ashley Giles told media.
“The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs [no objection certificates] were signed for full involvement in the IPL.
“None of us knows 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 programme is incredibly busy. We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we’re going to have to look after our players,” the former spinner stated.