Former England fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom has reckoned that playing in the Indian Premier League [IPL] has immensely helped in improving English white-ball cricket as the players have got accustomed to playing under immense pressure by playing in front of massive crowds regularly.
The success of English white-ball cricket has coincided with the top bosses at the England & Wales Cricket Board allowing their players to participate in the cash-rich league, which is a stark contrast from their stand a decade ago.
England was always reluctant in sending their players for the IPL during the initial stages of the tournament despite former captain Kevin Pietersen relentlessly campaigning for players to be allowed to play in a tournament that pips the best vs the best.
The attitude eventually changed post the shambolic 2015 World Cup campaign where England got knocked out in the league-stage. Post the defeat, English cricket recognized the need for its players to feature in the IPL in order to hone their skills and improve their temperament by playing with and against the best players in the world in a high-pressure environment.
The architects behind the change in attitude were former director of cricket Andrew Strauss and current white-ball skipper, Eoin Morgan.
In the succeeding years, the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, and others have gone on to become marquee players in the IPL and it has directly helped the ‘Three Lions’ to become the best white-ball team in the world.
The likes of Ashley Giles, Eoin Morgan have previously admitted the massive role that the IPL has played in the development of England’s white-ball set-up, and the latest to join the bandwagon is Ryan Sidebottom.
During an interview with Times Now, Ryan Sidebottom, who recently featured for England Legends in the ongoing Road Safety World Series, said-
“Yes, we all agree that the IPL has a massive influence to improvise England players’ style of play. Ever since our English players have been playing in IPL and the Big Bash League (BBL), they have certainly improved in their game. While playing in IPL, they are now able to play under pressure in front of big crowds,”