Swashbuckling Sunrisers Hyderabad opener, Jonny Bairstow says that refusing a lucrative IPL offer is extremely difficult for a cricketer, especially the ones who are contracted by their national board for just limited-overs matches, and not red-ball cricket.
Jonny Bairstow’s comments come amidst the talks of the possibility of England players who will play in the IPL 2021 missing the home Tests against New Zealand as the playoffs may clash with the Test series.
Bairstow was snubbed of a Test contract by the ECB last year. The wicket-keeper feels that the kind of money on offer in the IPL is too big to deny; the opener will make almost the same money in a 2-month IPL as much as his year-long central white-ball contract with the ECB, Jonny Bairstow
“Mentally, we have to stay as fresh as we can. We have been staying in hotels and we cannot leave, it is taxing and it is about staying fresh to produce the best on the pitch. When you are talking about the kind of money the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Chris Morris have got, it is hard to turn it down, it can be hard for anybody to turn it down,” Jonny Bairstow said in a virtual media interaction.
“Look, I think it is part and parcel of the game. There are guys who have white-ball contracts and red-call contracts and then there are those who have both. I think guys who have white-ball format will want to go to the IPL and you cannot tell them don’t go,” he added.
At some point, players are going to need rest: Jonny Bairstow
The 31-year-old also emphasizes the fact that the players do need rest, especially while living in the bio-bubbles for months. There has been a criticism of ECB’s rest and rotate policy for players playing in all formats.
Bairstow and Mark Wood were rested from the first two Tests against India after playing in Sri Lanka; Joe Buttler left after the first Test in India; Moeen Ali after the second Test – both will return for the T20I series – while James Anderson was rested after the first Test for Stuart Broad.
Jonny Bairstow, who has formed a destructive opening pair with David Warner at SRH, says that it is not about prioritizing formats or teams – they are being prudent in managing the physical and mental health of the player considering a packed year.
“When it comes to rest, if you are asking people to be away from home from Jan 2-March 29 and to be in bubbles, at some point, people are going to need rest, that’s where the coaching staff has decided to give players rest.
“I do not believe there are any priorities, if you look at our away record, we have won six of our last seven Tests away from home, these results do not come by prioritizing one format of the game,” the 2019 World Cup winner added.