IPL Chairman Arun Dhumal goes to war with ECB after England players pull out of IPL 2024 playoffs

Updated - 23 May 2024, 10:28 AM

England Players and Arun Dhumal
England Players and Arun Dhumal. Image Credit: BCCI-IPL

The decision of England’s 2024 ICC T20 World Cup-bound cricketers to prioritize national commitments over the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 playoffs has sparked a heated debate among the cricket fraternity.

Actually, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recalled their players for a crucial four-match T20I series against Pakistan from the ongoing IPL 2024, leaving fans and pundits baffled.

Jos Buttler (RR), Will Jacks (RCB), Phil Salt (KKR), and Reece Topley (RCB) are not available for their team’s IPL 2024 playoffs, and ECB’s this move did not go down well with many cricket experts.

Apart from these English players, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Liam Livingstone were among those players who left their respective franchises even before the IPL 2024 Playoffs began.

Arun Dhumal expresses his frustration at the ECB's decision to withdraw players from the IPL 2024 Playoffs

After that, former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Irfan Pathan have publicly criticized the England players for leaving the tournament midway and disrespecting its stakeholders. Well, now adding fuel to the controversy, IPL Governing Council chairman Arun Dhumal has also expressed his frustration, calling the situation just "unfortunate."

Dhumal lashed out at the ECB for failing to uphold their commitment to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the players' full availability for the ongoing IPL 2024. He blamed the miscommunication on a recent change in ECB's management that planned the T20I series during the IPL 2024.

Dhumal also suggested that the new ECB officials were either unaware of or uncaring of the prior commitments made by the past officials. The IPL GC chairman also revealed that the BCCI ‘will take the required corrective actions’ over the issue to avoid such a situation in the future and ensure the Indian league remains the premier destination for the world's best talents.

ECB committed that England players will be available for the entire IPL 2024: Arun Dhumal

Arun Dhumal was quoted as saying by Sportstar: “It was given as a commitment that they will be available for the entire tournament. It was indeed very unfortunate with the way things happened this time around. Unfortunately, there was some change of guard at the ECB so, the new people who took over did not know about the bilateral series they had planned, and they wanted to put their best team there. Due to that, the confusion arose.”

Dhumal further noted: “We have had good discussions with the ECB and hopefully, it won’t happen again in the future. A few people who had earlier committed to this aren’t with the ECB now, but ideally, even if there was a change of guard, things should have happened the way it was planned.”

England's T20I series against Pakistan was scheduled as part of the ICC’s Future Tour Programs (FTP) for 2023–2027. This series was confirmed in August 2022, well before Richard Thompson and Richard Gould assumed their roles as ECB chairman and CEO in September 2022 and February 2023, respectively.

Despite this early scheduling and the ECB's assurance to the BCCI of players’ availability for the IPL 2024, questions were raised about whether there was a communication gap between the two boards.

Following the announcement of England's T20 World Cup 2024 squad, the selected players were promptly recalled for the home T20I series against Pakistan, causing debate over the issue.


Arun Dhumal BCCI ECB IPL England National Cricket Team England vs Pakistan