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Northants confirm three for IPL auction

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 24, 2014

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Azharullah celebrates the wicket of Azhar Mahmood, Northamptonshire v Surrey, FLt20 final, Edgbaston, August 17, 2013
Muhammad Azharullah starred for Northants in their Friends Life t20 triumph last season © Getty Images

This year's IPL auction takes on increased significance for English cricket and Northamptonshire are the latest county to confirm they will have a vested interest on February 12.

The ECB has opened up a bigger window for their centrally contracted players and many counties have also relaxed their stance on IPL participation, despite the prospect of losing players for nearly half of the County Championship season.

Northamptonshire have given their full blessing to Azharullah, Steven Crook and their overseas player Jackson Bird to seek IPL deals but losing all three would seriously hamper their chances of retaining a place in Division One of the County Championship for 2015.

Crook was a key member of the Northants' squad that won promotion last season. He took 43 wickets at 26.48 and also averaged 40.16 with the bat. Azharullah did not break into the Championship side until halfway through the campaign but added 25 wickets at 28.68. He also starred with the ball as Northants claimed a fairytale Friends Life t20 triumph, finishing the competition as top wicket-taker with 27 scalps.

Losing Bird, who Northants signed for ten Championship and seven T20 games, would rob them of a bowler who has played three Tests for Australia. An IPL clause was included in his contract.

But the county can breathe easy over David Willey, the very promising allrounder, who was also the subject of strong interest from several IPL franchises. He has withdrawn from the auction to focus on his fitness ahead of the new county season having suffered with a lower-back injury while in Australia with the England Performance Programme.

"We as a club recognise the opportunities offered by the IPL," the Northamptonshire chief executive, David Smith, said. "We will not stand in the way of the players wanting to take part in the competition, due to the development and financial benefits on offer."

Head coach, David Ripley, added: "The IPL is firmly established in the international cricket calendar and we fully understand the desire for players to be a part of it. We wish the lads well if selected, and if they are, it will give opportunities for others to start the season well for us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

It will be very difficult for either of them to get a deal in IPL Auction. With just 4 overseas players allowed to play most teams will go for established & proven international players rather than spending on relatively inexperienced and unproven entities. The only way either of them can get a deal as a backup player to sit in bench.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

Englad players if cleared by county teams can be a good buy if they can adjust to indian pitches I think teams with good pace pitches like punjab and rajasthan can have these players and KIWIS

Posted by CodandChips on (January 25, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

Jackson Bird will get picked on the basis that he has played a Big Bash game. The others won't though. If Willey was available, he'd just be a squad-filler.

Posted by GeminiAwan on (January 25, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Nouman92, Muhammad Azharullah is a Pakistani, who will play in IPL..

Posted by   on (January 25, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

no bcci did not want to risk it .

Posted by Nouman92 on (January 25, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

Can Pakistani Players Playing in ipl 7 or not?

Posted by class9ryan on (January 24, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

Its very hard for someone like a Bird to get a team because as a bowler who bowls well with the new ball and is decent with the old ball. Bird hasn't bowled too much at the end in Big Bash and that should hurt him, nor does he field or bat that well like Coulter-Nile or someone else. Mohammad Azarullah could be a dark horse in the auction, so would have David Willey had he entered the auctions. I don't think Steven Crook getting in and the chances of players getting a contract depend a lot on the type of franchisees - strong franchisees might give you money but might not provide you matches.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

InsideHedge, bird will go for big bucks thanks to the Aussie scouts in most teams. why else would so many no name Aussie cricketers get picked up for so much each year

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 24, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

If the IPL knows anything about out-and-out t20 talent, then David Willey will find a niche. But what do they know about him?

Posted by   on (January 24, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

I think that Bird has a good chance to land a good IPL Deal. Should be about half a million dollars.

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