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Collier forced to make IPL plea

George Dobell

April 9, 2013

Comments: 183 | Text size: A | A

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, has urged the BCCI to reschedule future IPL seasons to dovetail more successfully with the England first-class season in response to pressure from England players who are clamouring to participate in the event.

In an interview with the Times, Collier revealed that he has been holding regular talks with officials from the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa with a view to finding a solution to the tensions created within international cricket by the growth of domestic T20 leagues. Discussions have been ongoing for several months.

Collier has contended that, in future years, the IPL can be completed before the end of April to allow England players to participate without compromising their involvement in England's international schedule which starts in mid-May. This year's IPL ends on May 26.

"We have had very fruitful talks with India," Collier said. "In an ideal world, we would like the IPL to be concluded by April 30, which is the cooler season for India. We have put that to them, they are doing their best, but they realise there are some limitations.

"It would make things a lot easier for us. We still have to get the workload balance right, but it would make it a lot easier for our players to be available for that period and certainly the BCCI are fully aware of that. There is a willingness on the part of both boards to see if we can make any progress."

The talks come in the context of the ECB re-negotiating the value of central contracts with England players. The players' union, the Professional Cricketers' Association, is requesting substantial pay increases to compensate its members for their non-appearance, or at best fleeting appearance, in the IPL, and have argued that Australian players earn far more from their Board and have more opportunity to appear in T20 leagues such as the IPL and Big Bash.

As a consequence, the ECB, eager not to raise the value of the contracts above sustainable levels, are seeking other ways to allow its players to supplement their incomes. Collier's India discussions have perhaps carried most importance in openly displaying a willingness to negotiate a better deal for England's players as they make their impatience clear about their exclusion from such a high-profile tournament.

That the IPL is bloated and has invaded England's traditional season is beyond debate. But there appears to be little scope for the IPL finishing before the end of April for the next three years. The World Twenty20 in Bangladesh is scheduled to run from March 16 to April 6 in 2014, with the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand likely to run from February until the end of March 2015 and the World Twenty20 of 2016 scheduled to run in India until mid-April.

While some have suggested the IPL could be shortened by scheduling three games per day, it seems unlikely that the BCCI would accept the subsequent reduction in advertising and sponsorship revenues.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JG2704 on (April 12, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

@ Si Bakeron (April 10, 2013, 6:30 GMT) It could happen that way but I as it stands I'm not sure it will. I mean KP would have been thee most likely and after a messy 2012 where ECB held firm , KP decided (for whatever reason) that he wanted to play for Eng at the expense of playing a full IPL. Re Swann - he wasn't taken in the 2011 (or was it 2012) auction so if he decided not to renew his contract it would be a bit of a gamble. Same with Prior and pretty much any other Eng player. Actually Morgan will probably not be offered another CC. I mean he has done nothing - both in terms of commitment and runs - to try and regain his place in the side. If so I think Morgan may go freelance which is probably the right move for him. Collier IMO doesn't think/care (if) his requests get considered. It's just a token effort to appease some of the Eng players.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 12, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@Stup1d - Totally agree with all your post although I wonder whether it is 100% the players choice re playing BBL. Maybe Indian domestic teams pay better than BBL anyway. Also I do wonder where the cut off point is (re money earned in an IPL auction) where an ECB contracted player becomes better paid for doing IPL than for his ECB contract? I'm guessing they would have to work all that out but I'm guessing those that went unsold would have to up their base prices when taking that into consideration and if they put themselves down at $200k before they would have to put themselves down at considerably more now and if they weren't getting picked at the smaller base price I don't see how they'd get a much greater fee even with the freedom of playing a full IPL. I reckon Collier's request was like a token gesture to say to our players that he'd tried on their behalf. Don't think he genuinely believes IPL will or even should be moved.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 12, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@JBSA on (April 10, 2013, 5:16 GMT) Re the Oz state sides not objecting to their players playing IPL. There's a huge difference. If their players play IPL it makes no difference to the team. With Eng counties it does as they start their season in April. I don't think any Indian players played in last years Big Bash - which I presume would be for exactly the same reason.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 12, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

@ YS_USA on (April 10, 2013, 7:14 GMT) I was going to say similar myself.

IPL go for the box office players - and often regardless of whether they still have it or not or even in some cases (Ganguly) if they ever had it for this format. Aus have had several players who have played IPL with success after their test careers are over. Warne , Gilchrist , Hayden , Hogg , Symons and now Ponting. Murali likewise. Not sure re Aus coaches etc , but I don't remember a situation where an Aus test player has chosen IPL over playing for their country. ECB get lambasted all the time for their stance but I don't remember 1 Aus test player playing IPL 2012 while the national side was in WI.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

I agree that the IPL is too long. And to justify it by saying that there are other leagues across the world that take place throughout the year makes no sense. Sure we have football/soccer leagues like EPL. But football/soccer doesn't have a packed international calendar involving three versions of the same game, apart from domestic games. And I don't think the example of USA is relevant.Those people don't give a damn about the rest of the world. They like to think that their leagues are the world championships of the respective sports. Naturally they need the league to fill out their entire year's appetite. The IPL should be restricted one round robin league followed by the playoffs. Every year I watch the first few games and then quickly lose interest. This year I haven't felt the need to watch a single game. I just follow the results on cricinfo. Although there are many dedicated fans (apparent from some of the posts in the comments section here) I am sure that there are others...

Posted by   on (April 12, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

I feel the english players are not fit and good enough to play the IPL.

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