ECB to stick to policy of limited IPL window for England players

Hugh Morris believes it is critical if England are playing international cricket that their best players are available © Getty Images

London: Jan 27, 2013

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has rejected any change in its stance over not allowing its senior players a clear window to play a full Indian Premier League (IPL) season, saying it cannot make any compromise on the team’s Test season.

ECB’s Managing Director Hugh Morris said the Board would not budge and would continue to resist any such demands from the players.

Morris’ comments came as the Professional Cricketers’ Association began negotiations with the ECB on behalf of England players on the terms of revised central contracts which will come into force in October.

“It’s critical if England are playing international cricket that our best players are available. The principle of players being available to play for England first and foremost has got to be central,” Morris was quoted as saying by ‘The Independent’.

Under the ECB’s stated policy, the players expected to be involved in the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, which begins on May 16, will be required to curtail their IPL stay in order to be available for one county match beforehand.

But interest from the IPL franchises is not likely to rise if England players can only make appearances for part of the tournament. The players’ auction for the April 3-May 26 Twenty20 league will be held on February 3 in Chennai.

Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan already have deals with IPL sides, while Matt Prior, Monty Panesar and Ravi Bopara have been given permission to appear in the auction.