England news January 27, 2013

No relaxation on IPL policy - Morris

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hugh Morris, England's managing director, has confirmed that the ECB has no intention of relaxing its attitude towards the participation of England players in the IPL as it guards the status of its own Test programme in ongoing contractual negotiations for the country's top players.

Negotiations have begun on England's revised central contracts which will become operational in September and any pressure from players' representatives to relax attitudes about England players competing in IPL in preference to the opening Test of ther summer will be resisted.

Morris has restated that the policy to protect the English Test season will continue. "It's critical if England are playing international cricket that our best players are available," Morris told The Independent. "The principle of players being available to play for England first and foremost has got to be central."

As the player auction for the 2013 IPL season approaches, a small handful of England players will be in with a chance of competing for a contract. But interest from the franchises is not likely to rise if England players can only make appearances for part of the tournament.

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. Of those, only Pietersen is a regular in all three international formats and England 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.

The IPL, which this year goes on until May 26, cuts deep into the England international season, which tradionally begins with a short Test series in mid-May. Nottinghamshire have also become the first English county to refuse its players permision to partake in IPL to protect a county season which starts in the second week of April, a decision which will leave the best county players looking more closely at their contracts in future.

Very few England players have featured in the IPL, which runs for six-seven weeks from early April, since its inaugural season in 2008. Pietersen and Morgan have both had stints of varying success, while Stuart Broad was contracted to Kings XI Punjab for two seasons without making an appearance, before he was released last year. Several county players, such as Essex's Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate and Sussex's Luke Wright, also have IPL deals.

The England players' body, the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), has called for the ICC and BCCI to negotiate a window for the IPL, which would minimise its disruption, but the BCCI has no appetite for this, confident that it can run the tournament whenever it likes, and for as long as it likes, and still attract enough world-class players to make the it highly successful.

West Indies toured England with an under-strength Test side in 2012, due to players' lucrative IPL commitments, and the same situation may yet affect New Zealand this year. An agreement between West Indies and Sri Lanka has seen their 2013 Test series, scheduled for May, dropped in favour of a limited-overs tri-tournament with India later in the year.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deepak on January 29, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Totally agree with you. No IPL franchise is interested in buying English players apart from KP.

  • Randolph on January 29, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    KP is really the only batsman the IPL wants. The rest are just grade cricketers.

  • Rahul on January 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    @Greatest_Game Agree to the many points made by you but dont judge the entire Indian fans fraternity by the comments made by one person. On the other hand irrespective of India, England or Bangladesh any international cricketer should and without any doubts be representing his or her own country if he or she has to make a choice.Only thing the respective boards can do is try not to put the cricketers in spot of bother and ask them to make a choice. ECB is absolutely write in making its priority clear in advance while handing out the central contracts to its cricketers. BCCI has it own galaxy of stars and some big names from outside to run a successful IPL. It is just a cricket and no one is dying.

  • David on January 27, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    @ davidpk You wrote that England is "the only northern hemisphere country in the cricketing world." What nonsense! Please save yourself the embarrassment and go and study geography before making such statements. Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, & The West Indies ARE ALL IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. Only South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia & New Zealand are in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Five of the nine test playing nations are in the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. Therefore the majority of test playing nations are in the Northern Hemisphere.

    And as for you saying "this is our time!" Your time for what? A horrible losing year in 2012, losing the top spot in all 3 formats, and fans that don't know the very basics of world geography. Have a great time, mate.

    Honestly, the cricket world CAN go on without England. No one would want to. England are great competitors, and the county game is THE training ground for 1st class cricket. But still, England do not own the game. Period.

  • giovaughn on January 27, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Fans & players like Steyn, Clarke, Warner Kallis etc are more likely to turn up during England tours regardless of the cold or wet during May while IPl is going on as The Ashes & the Basil D'oliviera trophy have a greater history to them & that alone is a huge part of their appeal. Ipl is mostly about money which S/A & Aus players are in a better position to turn down than W/I, N/Z S/L players as their board are relatively well off and organised & put more value on the supremacy of Test Cricket. I understand that these series could not be held every year but at least every 3 or so would shake things up a bit

  • John on January 27, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I can see we're going to get alot of hissy fit stuff in response to this thread but the fact is - as some of us tried to folk back along when Notts would not allow a couple of it's players out for IPL , to the same deaf ears - that IPL clashes with the English county season. Personally I like seeing our players playing in Big Bash and IPL and it added interest to me when Wright and Hales were involved in the big bash. I can also see how IPL would benefit our shorter format specialists. But I can also see why the English counties would - if these players are not contacted to England - to be playing for their sides. The sides which helped nurture their talent. I do however see a certain humour in Mr Morris saying

    "It's critical if England are playing international cricket that our best players are available,"

    after the ECB rests the likes of Swann,Trott,KP and Jimmy from recent series

  • Christopher on January 27, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    gottalovetheraindance - Test cricket isn't a handicap competition, each country should play it's strongest team available to them every time. If another domestic league is scheduled during the English season then so be it, the players have a clear choice - play international cricket or earn more money in the IPL. It's worth noting that not one Englishman has chosen the second option over the first as of yet.

  • giovaughn on January 27, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    The Ipl's quality & success in my opinion is significantly dependent on both Indian & Overseas International players of quality. If it is that the host country has a significant influence on who tours & when ECB could give a blow to the IPL by scheduling series vs Aus & S/A to clash with the IPl. This would make sense as Steyn, Kallis , Clarke, Warner & co are far more likely to bypass IPl riches to tour England than Jayawardene, Narine, Gayle Taylor, Mccullum etc as not only are the former in a much more secure financial position regarding earning & contracts but they would be under more pressure from history of the series, media, fans Board etc to do so. This would force the IPl to make-do with less experienced & skilled replacement & this may or not impact the quality of the tournament over time but in my opinion it is more than worth a shot.

  • giovaughn on January 27, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @ least ECB et al are currently in a position where they have that option. Spare a thought For The poor & poorly managed WICB who dont :( . However there is also another viable but slightly controversial option which i like.

  • giovaughn on January 27, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    This also helps to avoid an anti climax like what resulted in Australia recently where the real contest, a battle for #1 between Australia & S/A was completed before an inept / mediocre & injury weakened Sri Lankan side went down under. However I see no reason why ECB cant allow KP, Swann et al to go play IPL or county cricket & then select a slightly weaker team to face opponents who they should more than likely still have enough in the tank to beat. Not only would that make the early season series more of a contest as the teams would be more evenly matched but this would give Flower et al & the fans an opportunity to Test talented players who are close to making to jump to the International level. I know that's what County Cricket & the Lions squad is for & It could be argued that Test cricket would be being belittled but that has been occurring already anyway as early season touring teams have 'unavoidably' more often than not been below full strength anyway.