Former England cricketer-turned commentator David Gower said that the English Cricket Board took a long time in understanding the benefits that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has brought along with it.
Apart from the obvious financial riches, the IPL, since its inception, has proved to be a breeding ground for young talent to showcase their skills with and against the best in the world amid relentless pressure.
England cricket was initially reluctant in sending its players to play in the IPL but since their 2015 World Cup debacle, the ECB has used the IPL as a platform for its players to hone their white-ball skills and the results have been for everyone to see.
The likes of Jos Buttler have emerged as better players following their IPL experience and Gower acknowledged the same in his recent interview with the Telegraph.
“Alongside the financial riches, the IPL also offers an extraordinary experience, and I think it took a while for the ECB to accept that the IPL offered their players education, valuable experience and could actually help them develop as cricketers, which it has done; people like Buttler have come through to prominence because of the IPL and their experiences there.” Gower said to The Telegraph.
With the advent of the IPL, a country vs club debate has been triggered over the years with so many players prioritizing the franchise-based competition over International duty.
The former English captain was quick to point out that a player’s loyalty should always lie with his/her nation.
“This comes down to the subject of loyalty. It asks if you’re going to be more loyal to your international team or to a franchise which might or might not throw you out next year. Obviously, if you’re playing well, they aren’t going to do that. But yeah, it’s an interesting scenario. Now, when you narrow it down a bit, I think a certain sort of sense of honour and loyalty to one’s country would be appreciated,” he added.
The 14th season of the IPL will take place between April 09-May 30 and it will once again be glittered with a plethora of English talent which includes the likes of Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer [if fit].