Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has opined that if the England players get together and stand with each other, they can play in the rescheduled IPL 2021. This comes after ECB’s managing director Ashley Giles had hinted that three lions’ players might not be available for the remainder of this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) if it is rescheduled.
The IPL Governing Council (GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting had unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season last week due to COVID-19 creeping in the franchise’s bio-bubbles and infecting multiple players, coaches, and support staff.
The BCCI is looking at an alternate window in September to host the remainder of 31 matches left in the IPL 2021. However, it has been hinted that the tournament might not take place in India, but either in the UAE or someplace else, even some England counties have offered to host the IPL 2021 tournament.
If They Stand Together, They’ll Play IPL- Kevin Pietersen
Earlier this year, ECB had received flak for rotating its players in the Test series against India and many former cricketers opined that the board is allowing its players to play in the IPL while ignoring international cricket. Also, any rescheduling of IPL 2021 in September is going to clash with England’s Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“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. 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,” ESPNCricinfo had quoted Giles as saying.
Giles said England’s schedule for the summer is “incredibly busy” and the management wants to look after their players.
However, Kevin Pietersen recalled his own example when he had signed to play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2009, questions were raised on his commitment towards playing for England, and said that when he went up against ECB, he was alone, but now if the players band together, they can play IPL, given their stock in the richest T20 league in the world.
“It’s going to be v interesting to watch how the ECB handle this issue around not allowing its best players to play IPL if it’s rescheduled. When I went up against ENG, I was alone. This time, it’s all their best-branded players! If they stand together, they’ll play IPL,” Kevin Pietersen tweeted.
It’s going to be v interesting to watch how the ECB handle this issue around not allowing it’s best players to play IPL, if it’s rescheduled.
When I went up against ENG, I was alone.
This time, it’s all their best branded players!
If they stand together, they’ll play IPL!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) May 12, 2021