England news January 18, 2013

Monty Panesar cleared for IPL auction


Sussex are willing to let left-arm spinner Monty Panesar participate in this year's IPL, despite acknowledging that his absence could hinder their chances in the County Championship.

Panesar is among three England players to have been given permission to appear in this year's IPL auction alongside his England and Sussex team-mate Matt Prior and Essex's Ravi Bopara. If, as expected, Luke Wright also returns to the IPL, it could mean that Sussex are without three of their senior players for the first few weeks of the season. While Panesar and Prior have both appeared in the auction before without attracting any takers, their success in the recent Test series in India will have done their chances of finding a team this year no harm.

The IPL begins on April 3, with the ECB asking that any of those involved who may be selected in the Test team return to England in time to appear in the final round of Championship matches, ahead of the first Test against New Zealand that begins on May 16. That means that Sussex, who have a light early-season schedule, should only be without Panesar and co. for two games and he may have to be back in England before the end of April. Their last game before the Test begins on May 1.

All players are required to obtain No Objection Certificates from their counties or national boards. While Nottinghamshire have forbidden their players from participating in the IPL - Michael Lumb, Alex Hales and Samit Patel were all keen to appear in the auction - on the grounds that their absence would severely dent the club's chances of success, Sussex have taken a different approach.

In the case of Panesar at least, they probably had no choice as the player negotiated a clause in his contract when he joined Sussex at the end of 2009 that ensured he could be released for the IPL.

"It's not ideal for us," Sussex's head coach Mark Robinson told ESPNcricinfo. "It could cost us the chance of winning the County Championship, but we understand that it's a great opportunity for the players.

"It's a bit of a myth that players go for the money. Such is the compensation they have to pay to their counties that, unless they go for over $400,000, they probably aren't making a lot. Certainly in the case of Monty, he just wants to improve as a limited-overs cricketer and we respect that."

Essex are another club who will be hit by withdrawals. Apart from Bopara, they expect Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate to continue with Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. Neither will appear in the auction.

Nottinghamshire are, as yet, the only club to forbid their players from taking part. While Angus Porter, the chief executive of the PCA, the players' union, warned that such a stance might count against the county when players are considering joining the club or new contracts - they may prefer clubs which let them go to the IPL or expect compensation from Nottinghamshire - it could equally prove that the decision provides the team with a vital edge at the start of the 2013 season. Other counties will be watching Nottinghamshire with interest. If there are no signs that the affected players are disgruntled and results go their way, it would be no surprise if others followed suit in future years.

Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan already have deals with Delhi Daredevils and Knight Riders respectively. The availability of the rest of the England squad has yet to be decided. While Panesar and Prior are currently only involved with the Test squad and Bopara has dropped out of all three formats at present, the availability of other senior players for the IPL is likely to be limited. England have a heavy schedule in 2013 so the chances of any bowler with a central contract - the likes of Graeme Swann, who is currently rated No. 3 in the ICC rankings for international T20 cricket - Stuart Broad and James Anderson are unlikely to be made available.

An ECB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo: "Releasing players to participate in the IPL is not just a rubber stamping exercise. It's too early to say which England players will be released for it, but a decision will be made on all centrally-contracted players after a consideration of injury avoidance and workload management."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Axe on January 20, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    @ gsingh7 - I don't think so. It is just that Ajmal is ordinary !

  • gurinder on January 19, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    counterstrike1.6 on (January 19 2013, 18:38 PM GMT) I'm sure, if you ask Indian batsmen who is tougher to play ? Monty or Ajmal ? Answer would be MONTY.

    ajmal just bowls bad to indians because either he took bribes from bcci or he loves india being neighbours or he likes indian climate or he is too kind hearted person or because drs is not liked by bcci and indian fans

  • gurinder on January 19, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    brussels-- its t 20 cricket boss not boring tests , even england dont include him in odis seeing his odi record

  • s on January 19, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    monty woudn't make it, bopara and prior may but hales and lumb would definitely have made it. is ECB planning to release only unworthy players and show others that they too wouldn't be selected. look at kp and morgan

  • mazen on January 19, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    counterstricke1.6... Grapes are sour dude. Lolzzzzzzzzzzz. You can simply say Indian can't play good quality fast and spin bowling.

  • Axe on January 19, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    I'm sure, if you ask Indian batsmen who is tougher to play ? Monty or Ajmal ? Answer would be MONTY.

  • Ray on January 19, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @ gsingh7 on (January 18 2013, 19:49 PM GMT): Is that the same overrated bowler who took 17 wickets in 3 matches @27 recently?

  • Rahul on January 19, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Will be a real test of Monty how he bowls on lively pitches in shorter format as he often bowls on flat ENG pitches

  • Geoffrey on January 19, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Its sad that they would put another countires domestic league ahead of their own.

  • John on January 19, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    I'm not sure anyone will take a punt on Monty TBH.It depends how the franchise chiefs see Monty - whether they go by the fact he did so well in the tests or the fact he was totally overlooked for the shorter formats. I'm surprised Sussex have allowed this as Monty is a key player in the 4 day game but I guess they've allowed Wright to play so must do the same with Monty. Having said that IPL sides did not bid for Swann last year - who fields and bats and arguably bowls better than Monty in shorter formats so by that logic Monty should not be picked.

    What I don't like is MRs comms (and I'd hate it if I was a Sussex fan)

    "It could cost us the chance of winning the County Championship"

    because he seems to be saying that the CC isn't that important. Last season I rued Somerset's poor luck with weather - and I'll say again Warwicks were worthy winners - but the weather is something no one can control. Keeping your best players is.Maybe MR is gambling on the hope no one takes Monty

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