England news

Prior warns of IPL 'frustration'

George Dobell

February 14, 2013

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A

The ball lodges in Rob Quiney's helmet grill after Matt Prior's swing and miss, Melbourne Stars v Sydney Thunder, Big Bash League, January 8, 2013
Matt Prior played in the 2012-13 Big Bash but was not bought during the IPL auction © Getty Images
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Matt Prior has said the ECB may be forced to reconsider its international schedule with a view to allowing England players more opportunity to appear in the IPL.

Wicketkeeper Prior, a key member of England's Test side, has warned that England players are becoming "frustrated" at the limitations imposed upon their participation in the league and has suggested the ECB may need to reflect on the idea of scheduling international games in May.

As things stand, an uneasy compromise exists between the ECB and its contracted players. That compromise allows England players to appear in the IPL for around a month but renders them far less attractive to franchises. Prior was among the England players who went unsold in this year's IPL auction. The 2013 IPL season runs from April 3 to May 26, but the ECB have insisted their players are back in England by May 5 in order to prepare for England's international season, which begins on May 16 with a Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

Prior, while reiterating that his priority remained Test cricket, admitted the lure of the big money available to players in the IPL was hugely attractive and suggested that the scheduling of England games for May "may have to change" in the future.

"If you ask any Englishman or Australian, 'would you rather score a T20 hundred or an Ashes hundred?' I know which one most people would go with," Prior told the BBC. "But guys are going to start looking at it. I know for a fact that players want to play in the IPL. You can't get away from the fact that there is an enormous amount of money at stake.

"I'm employed by the ECB, so I do what the ECB says right now. If that's when the Test matches are, then that's when the Test matches are. My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play.

"The IPL and these Twenty20 competitions are not going away. People love them and the players enjoy playing in them, so there are going to be more and more people getting frustrated at the lack of opportunity to play in the IPL. So things may have to change in time."

Prior's comments do not account for the fact that even if the ECB rescheduled international games to ensure there was no clash with the IPL, the strength of the county game would be diluted by widespread departures, which might, in time, lead to a drop in the quality of the international side. That, in turn, could lead to a reduction in the worth of broadcast deals.

Nottinghamshire have already refused to release their players for the 2013 IPL season, claiming the withdrawals would undermine their attempts to win domestic trophies during the English season. Prior, who was granted a lucrative benefit season by Sussex in 2012, is contracted to play for the club when his England commitments allow. As a beneficiary of a central contract, Prior is also well remunerated for other limitations in his availability.

The IPL is not the only league likely to coincide with the English season in years to come. If the ECB sets a precedent by seeking to avoid a clash with the IPL, it would be hard to argue against a window for the Caribbean, Pakistan, Sri Lankan or American leagues.

Prior might also reflect on the reasons behind England's busy schedule. It is, in part at least, designed to meet the salary demands of international players as well as ensuring they have access to the best facilities and coaching. Any cut in the schedule would lead to subsequent cuts in the value of broadcast deals - which account for around 80% of the ECB's income - and would reduce the funds available not just to the England team, but the first-class counties, grassroots cricket and the women's game.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sandt on (February 17, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

England and Aus can conduct T20 tournaments like IPL. These players can play in it. But when it comes to IPL they dont want their players to participate. Even in southafrican T20 they can participate.Why these descrimination. these boards try to spread that IPL destroying cricket and all. But these other tournamets is conducting in proper way. they spread messages like this.

Posted by pitch_curator on (February 16, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@ Bob martin -- I guess thats the problem with the poms and aussies. Ashes is NOT the only test series that is being played. There are a zillion other test series that are being played. How many spectators are coming for the NZ vs ENG test series that will be played? Lets see and compare them with the number of people who attended the T20s. Even in the last ashes series in Australia I could find tons of empty seats in the stadia. You can check the highlights. Infact at one stage I could see more England supporters than Aussies in the crowd. So much for the "following" of test cricket. There is a superb test match happening in South Africa right now and look at the attendance. I would say there would be more people in the local T20 competition than this so called "test" match. You can run but can not hide from the facts and the fact is that audiences love T20s. It is like theater and movies. Theater might demand more from artists but it is the movies which attract more audiences.

Posted by   on (February 16, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

England season is too long. Thats what makes players unavailable for most other leagues. It starts in April and Ends in Sept. I guess every country gives now a much shorter window. BCCI has Ranji Trophy in Jan-Feb instead of March-April earlier giving clear window for Domestic T20 and IPL. England will be last to implement anything in the name of conservatism and their better players will comparatively remain one of the least paid of them all.

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 16, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

@George Dobell :- "Prior is also well remunerated for other limitations in his availability"...

With England players only getting 1/2 the central contract $ compared to Oz & Prior also missing out on ODI/T20 payments he is the probably one of the lowest paid Eng players... Add to that he is the best Test wicketkeeper going around, he deserves to be upset at scheduling & wages...

Prior could move to Oz, play Shield, Ryobi & BBL to get better wages than he does now... His batting is a good as Clarkes in T20 with a better s.r. so he could pick up a IPL contract easily doubling his wages & have the nthn summer off to relax with family... For Matt, playing for his country comes at a very high cost to him & his family compared to many less credential players...

Posted by fguy on (February 15, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

@ Barsac on (February 14, 2013, 21:40 GMT) "If the Indian Test and one day side started winning some series...". so winning the 2011 world cup not good enough for you? but of courses eng have been poor in WC's so it cant be worth anything can it. also till the slide last year (due to some greats leaving/at end of their career) we were doing very well in tests too. we were # 1 in fact (& for much longer than Eng were).

@ jb633 on (February 15, 2013, 0:33 GMT) "if you speak to cricket fans they will always say that they care about how their country fares in test cricket, yet the attendances in Asia in particular remain low"... yes & they're only going to fall. no one has the time to spend 5 days watching a game. so they'll read the scores at the end of the day/match but wont actively participate like in limited overs.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 15, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

@Rajan Nagarajan on (February 15, 2013, 2:17 GMT), you do know that England and Australia are in different hemisphere's, right? The IPL clashes with the England home season in the northern summer but not with Australia's home season on the southern summer. The Australian season is well and truly over by the time the IPL starts. Can you point to any Australian players with central contracts who have been allowed to play in the IPL in preference to national duty? Your comparison has no logical basis.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

The IPL encroaches on part of the English domestic season and other T20 leagues will run during it as well. If England's big name players are going to be absent abroad playing T20 the star power of home games will be absent and this will damage ECB revenue.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

@cric_gates: My point was about the products of the so-called free market organisations. Players like Gautam Gambhir, Garaeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Saeed Ajmal are classical crickters and their genus will never be extinct. And people like Warne, Waughs were falsely branded by @Front-Foot_Lunge as "free market players"; they were always committed to Test cricktet. The true products of IPL-style crickters are Paul Valthaty, Sawapnil Asnodkar, Maxwell etc.

Ask yourself a question: how much did Hashim Amla fetch in the IPL auction? A rhetorical question, as we know he wasn't a part of the auction. That's what you call honour. Hashim Amla is one of the best modern crickters and he certainly doesn't need IPL's validation to prove his worth.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

@ cric_gates: Yes, they haven't done well in ODI world cups after 1992. I never claimed they were the world beaters in ODIs. Yes, that's a flaw but the same applies to New Zealand (they are good in ODIs but downright inept in Test cricket these days and there's clearly a dearth of talent). Most of the teams aren't good in every format nowadays. West Indies haven't been spectacular after the 1983 ODI world cup; their Test team has declined gradually but the T20 team rocks.

Well, if West Indies wins a T20 world cup, it's considered a spectacular acheivement. But when England wins it, everyone disregards it; have same standards at least. The financial state of West Indies crickter is pathetic and New Zealand's is ordinary, while English crickters are well paid in comparison.

Posted by cric_gates on (February 15, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

@Josh Maddy England team might be oldest but they haven't won 50 over world cup.they haven't reached semifinal of world cup since 1992.Infact their performence is declining with every the world cup.I am sure in world cup 2015 they will not reach in quater final too.As compare to west indies, they r two time world champ n currently t 20 champ.New zealand r consistant in world cup.the only team to reach semi final 6 in a row.no comment about zimbabwe.Just a one n only one major tournament eng won 2010 t 20 n i m sure they r going to remember it for 200 year despite trying to win another one. strong team like india,australia pakistan n south africa r smarter.when they see their team hav to play 1 day ot t 20 with england,they smartly send their B or C grade team to play.smart move to test their benchstrength.

Posted by Meety on (February 15, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

@Josh Maddy "... England is the oldest team in cricket; they are still doing well..." Sorry to break it to you, but technically Canada & USA are the "oldest" TEAMS in cricket. Having played the first ever International. @Nutcutlet on (February 14, 2013, 20:17 GMT) - IF, quality cricketers view the IPL as Superannuation - then no worries. It is only when a talented cricketer wishes to supplement his current central contract with the IPL (KP) that the problem occurs. == == == I find it a bit odd that Prior has copped as much criticsm as he has given he stated "...My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play." - maybe the word NEEDED, could be harped upon (no one here seems to have). == == == If it was up to me, I would scrap all 20/20 internationals, except for the Olympics, where Test playing nations can only send their U19s squads, (no restrictions on associates).

Posted by T-800 on (February 15, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

The author George Dobell makes several good points but this article is half news half editorial. Reading through the article, it becomes clear where the author's sympathies lie. Nothing wrong with that except, now, lets hear the other side of the argument. As far as Test Cricket vs T20/IPL goes, I'm afraid even though I was an initial defender of Test Cricket, it is less popular compared to T20. Majority of the public everywhere wants to see a T20 match. They simply do not have the time or the interest to watch a 5 day match that may or may not produce a result. Thus the spectators should be given what they are asking for since it is they who end up financing all this one way or the other. It is stubborn to impose Test Matches on a public that wants to see more T20

Posted by the_informant on (February 15, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Oh dear, and here I was given to think that all England players were golden-hearted purists, staunchly committed to traditon and impervious to the lure of the evil vices of T20 and IPL....how wrong I was.

Posted by subbass on (February 15, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

T-20 is not the real cricket.

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

Prior is absolutely right here. ECB should look in to it and allow England players participation in the IPL since these players can get huge payments and five star treatment only for few seasons and therefore they should utilize the IPL opportunity to earn something for their retired life.

Cricket Australia is very clever in allowing their second grade players to make a sizable income from IPL for their retired life.

It is high time the ECB should look in to their schedule and allow their STAR players to participate in IPL

Posted by   on (February 15, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge: Your theory is misleading and fallacious. You claim that ECB's model is outdated. England is the oldest team in cricket; they are still doing well. In fact, younger teams like West Indies, Zimbabwe, New Zealand have declined significantly over the years (I wish them well and hope they come back hard). On the other hand, England are the second-best team in Test cricket; their ODI team is decent, though not spectacular (they beat Pakistan 4-0 in ODIs last year on spinning tracks, they won ODI series against Australia and WI too); their T20 squad is good, they won the 2010 world cup and they have certainly won more T20 world cups than South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

You call Warne/Waugh/Bradman exponents of "free market" players. They always put their country ahead and never cheapend their game. In that way England too produced such players: Walter Hammond, Ian Botham and Flintoff were very much "free market" or unconventional players in the same spirit.

Posted by jb633 on (February 15, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

@pitch_curator- do not dismiss bobmartin's argument so easily. Yes t20 does seem popular at the minute. It is far too early however to proclaim that T20 will have longevity and this popularity will be there in 10 years. There are numerous t20 tournaments which have low attendances, average standards and litte real competition. Watching the BPL and some of the Big Bash leagues it would not seem that it is the product it was say 5 years ago. You do raise a point about test cricket though and certainly something needs to be done to market the product in a way that appeals to the modern audience. The strange thing about T2O is though is that if you speak to cricket fans they will always say that they care about how their country fares in test cricket, yet the attendances in Asia in particular remain low. Personally I think T20 will have 10 more years and then will fizzle out due to the lack of passion involved in any of the games. However this is of course yet to be seen.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 15, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

@ Scott McHugh, That's what makes the IPL a joke in the eyes of test cricket fans. You have like Maxwell, a mere minnow player who's played a handful of ODI's and hasn't even played a test but is reaping it in. Can you imagine equivalent rewards between England and Australia if there was an IPL of test matches? The entire England team would be fairly priced at about a billion more! lol

Posted by bobmartin on (February 14, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

People seem to think that these T20 leagues are an infinite pot of gold. Well like any other sport, there is only a limited number of places in each squad and only the chosen few get the cream the rest get what's left, always assuming they get bought at the auction at all.So a player decides he'll forgo his county contract and head off to where the pitches are paved with gold... It's a gamble.. and judging by the quality of players who have failed to get bought at auction (I love that phrase, like buying and selling cattle, I bought this batsman at auction), anyone who thinks it's an easy road to a pot of gold had better think again. Of course, there's always an outside chance that an unknown could attract a bid of a million or so I mean it's not unheard of is it...But most of the time..the "stars" are well known and earmarked.. the rest is a lottery of basically jobbing cricketers... In fact when I put it like that..it sounds rather sordid doesn't it ?

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

@ pitch_curator... Check your facts.. The England v Australia test series in England is sold out.. all 5 days all 5 tests... and that was stated on an Australian commentary on Australian TV... Also check how much Sky is paying the ECB for the rights to test cricket in England... It aint peanuts. There will be no dancing girls... no raucous music... no hyped up announcer egging the crowd on... no fences to keep the spectators in... no fireworks... no players or umpires talking to the "com box" during play... but what there will be is real cricket.. Test cricket = Chess... T20 = draughts.. That's the truth.. Real cricket v a circus for people with a short attention span.. A lot of people in this world still appreciate the finer things in it.. and test cricket just happens to be one of those finer things... Just like classical music.. it will never die... whereas pop music is simply a fad which changes from year to year..

Posted by Barsac on (February 14, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

Let him go. If he doesn't want to play Test cricket then fine. Play IPL and get a pay cheque for a season or two at most. You'll get very little recognition at home. ITV 4? If the Indian Test and one day side started winning some series than IPL would I suspect go the same way as the big bash and English 20/20 are going. Some people like fast food, others like a decent meal.

Posted by chindley4england on (February 14, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

It sounds like sour grapes from Prior,who surprise surprise, went unsigned at the last auction - probably as his one day international record is poor. As far as the 'best wicket keeper batsman in the world' or best 'allrounder', there are at least 3 keepers ahead of him - De Villiers, Sangakkarra, McCullum, even Wade runs him close, Paine not far behind.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 14, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

The best time for England players to get involved in the IPL is when they've retired from the first-class scene. Warne, Gilchrist & Lee have milked it well - and good luck to them: Australia had no further need of them. IPL delivers financial benefit to the players that are deemed to fit the requirements of that truncated form of the game. Not everyone will attact that sort of attention so it's all a bit arbitary. Performances in that comp are not meant to mean anything beyond the moment. You go to the circus & expect to be entertained. seasoned pros will give you that. You go home (Your team won! Wow!). Two days later the match is forgotten; it meant no more than the spume atop a wave. The cricketers get rich; the TV ratings hold up & in cricketing terms, the point is? (Please tell me; I haven't a clue.)

Posted by Penkridge on (February 14, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

The trick is to be so good that IPL clubs will still want you after you have retired from test cricket.

Posted by yoohoo on (February 14, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

@bobmartin - IPL is not feasting on any country's talents. Every board out there makes money from IPL. They get a percentage of the money the players of their countries make. Infact between the IPL money and the money earned through an Indian Team's tour of a country, it constitutes about 70-80% of the revenue of many cricket boards. They survive on this.

Why should the ECB stop someone who wants to come? Why can't they just let every player decide for themselves what they want to do? After all we are dealing in democracies here, aren't we? Why this judgemental attitude?

BCCI is quite clear on what IPL is. -It is a money spinner for supporting other cricket initiatives (like the recent decision to give all the old-retired indian players a one time generous cash award - about $100k-200k each.). -It for the first time reversed the trend of thinning attendances at the ground -Also cricket has again started competing for mindshare among children, after the onslaught of football.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

I'd be frustrated seeing some of the money the most mediocre of Australian players are getting. Does nothing but dilute already low standards (Champions League, anyone?)

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 14, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

@Charlie 101, Just because a number of Aus test players play IPL it doesn't mean to say it will help them when they come to playing in the forthcoming test series, as T20 & test cricket are worlds apart. If Eng players are at some point given the green light to play a full season in the IPL it will no doubt help them playing international T20's & ODI's in Asian conditions but not test matches. If anything particularly with the batsman, it could end up damaging their techniques if they are playing too much T20. All the Indian players who played in the recent series against Eng play full seasons of IPL & it dosen't seem to be helping them in test cricket.

Posted by pitch_curator on (February 14, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

@ BobMartin -- Swords and sickels have been used in warfare for lot longer than ICBMs. Look where they are now. Similarly test cricket being there forever is a pipe dream. The earlier the likes of you accept the fact the better the transition can be planned by still preserving the test match form of the game. You can see how many kids are watching T20s compared to test cricket ( I am not even talking of overall crowds or TRPs). If things continue like this, then some of the better talents will be forced to choose only one form of the game and any sane guy knows which one. I don't think test cricket is generating enough revenue to pay the wages of all parties involved. And talking about sponsors, do some research on how many eye balls are watching a LOT or T20 compared to a test match. Sponsors are not idiots. They know where their target market is. The franchises keep buying mediocre talents like Maxwell for a fortune. What does that tell you? Keep dreaming about the extinction of IPL.

Posted by xylo on (February 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

@Selassie-I , while I agree to most of your thoughts, I have to add a few: - A player isn't similar to an employee-asking-boss-scenario. A player's money-making ability window is too small to let anything slip by. - While the 50%-less-from-central-contract would work, what happens when a player plays through injury in the IPL for the money and then reveals his injury to his board... ala Sehwag. Who takes responsibility for that?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 14, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

@Arun Soni, If there is to be a comprise it will need to be between the ECB & BCCI, not between the the ECB & it's CC players. To allow Eng players to play a full season the IPL would either need to be moved forward & start in Mid Mar so it could finish early to mid May (the Eng season could then potentially start in the last wk of May when potentially at least the 48/49 days of Eng Int cricket which is currently scheduled could still be played). However starting the ipl in March could cause problems for some other countries most notably NZL who generally play their home int cricket between Dec & Mar. I think the idea scenario would see the ipl continue to start at the beginning of Apr but only last for 5.5 -6 wks, however I think there is little chance of this even if the ECB would be prepared to start the season 2 wks later.

Posted by bobmartin on (February 14, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

@Arun Soni Why should the ECB rearrange their fixtures to accommodate the BCCI's IPL.. which after all is only a domestic tournament feasting like vultures on other countrys' talent.... Test match cricket has been around a darn side longer than T20 (at least at international level) and will still be here when the IPL dies of over-exposure. Once the gloss wears off, the sponsors will be hot foot away at 180 degrees and you'll be left with nothing. The sooner the better..

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

Personally I feel the game of cricket is getting to complex with the existing 3 formats. The importance of ODI cricket declining day by day. Definitely, test cricket is the ultimate form of game and T20 is an entertainer. Better to vanisha the 50-50 cricket to promote club T20 and test cricket.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

There has to be a compromise. Firstly, ECB has been too tunnel visioned not accepting IPL and that format as the way forward in cricket. This is the future of cricket. We will see more competitions l;ike this around the world in years to come. Big Bash will get bigger. There is a big talk of big money T20 in America.

Cricket will follow same route as Football with International matches been given fixed seasons and leagues like the IPL flourishing. ECB are depriving current England players of the opportunity to earn the big money. This will change, but too late for current players. IPL must limit the length of the league if it is to remain interesting. Unfortunately I cannot see that happening. $$$ at peril.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 14, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

matt the next time your central contract come up for renewal don't accept it. that frees you up as long as your club is in agreement to play in the ipl. but then you dont get the £12500.00 central contract just the match fee.

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 14, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

There's an easy solution that fits all as far as the IPL is concerned. The competition is ridiculously long, even hard-core fans will agree, eventually you're just waiting for the "business end" of the tournament. Secondly, IPL starts too late and therefore finishes too late - in late May - when the temperatures are unfit for sporting events for both players and fans alike. If the event was shorter and started in the 1st week of March, it would never conflict with the start of the English season, the players would enjoy the event more, there would be fewer injuries, and the fans would not be bored out of their minds.

Posted by ajayrcs on (February 14, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

I am an Indian, but i think in India no one is interested in watching IPL, only player are interested in IPL due to high allowance. In future IPL will have same effect as EPL (many EPL match which attract less people on the other hand Match between nations attract many people) as a result reduction in cricket watching spectators.

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 14, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

I am surprised that Prior is so dedicated to playing test match cricket for England, considering he is a South African. Good on him though.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 14, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Prior - One of the greatest wicket-keeper/batsmen to have played the game. One thing England fans loved to see last Ashes was the aussie reaction to him scoring constant run-a-ball 50's or 100: England fans have witnessed him doing it for years, and Sussex fans for much much longer than that.

Posted by Selassie-I on (February 14, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

@Posted by CSK_greatest_of_all on (February 14, 2013, 13:05 GMT) - "Give them enough money when they retire" isn't £250,000 - £400,000 (+Sponsorship) enough?

If demads for money keep getting pandered to, we end up with a football situation where players are all babies told by their agents that they need to get paid more, and more, and more. This ends up where county players, who aren't good enough to get international contracts, can't earn enough money to survive and grass root (read the next generation) suffer.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

The IPL needs to be halved in length (not going to happen) or the ECB and England players need to realise that they can't have their cake and eat it, and England tests and the domestic season have to come before the IPL.

Matt Prior is probably on a good £200,000 a season plus for his central contract, and has only just had his benefit at Sussex, so it seems pretty greedy on his part.

Posted by Selassie-I on (February 14, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

I can imagine what the answer would be from my boss if I asked for 2 months off from my well paid job to work in a better paid job for someone else... I don't think the answer could be repeated on the cricinfo comments board!

I should think a window might be made if the IPL could shrink the competition down to 4 weeks.

I understand that the ECB could get annoyed by their players asking for 16% of the year off, not only is it a large ammount of time but it would also mean that one of the summer tours of England would have to be cancelled, imagine the cost of that to club and country boards. Maybe if players were given the option of having an IPL window in their contracts, in exchange for being paid 50% less from their central contracts to cover the cost to the board.

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (February 14, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Here are my thoughts on the matter as a whole

1)Give less importance to all domestic T20 leagues 2) Create an International Premier League(Ipl itself) and give it a window in the ICC Future Tours Programme 3)Reduce all ODI series to 3 matches to reduce the schedule a little bit 4)Personally I was in the opinion of disbanding all domestic t20 leagues and making the Ipl the only club competion. Form a couple of teams for each country but changing the format from league to knockout so that the matches will be greatly reduced. But in the end it was a bad idea as plenty of other domestic cricketers wouldnt get enough oppurtunities so I would stick with 1,2 & 3.

Posted by Aussiesfalling on (February 14, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

We can now clearly see the disadvantage of not having Matt Prior on the tour of New Zealand. Within a couple of days he has been reported talking about a Test series that does not start for another 6 months and about a domestic T20 series that is best not talked about publically at all, if the experience of KP is anything to go by.

Posted by pitch_curator on (February 14, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

In another 20 years time, I think there will be only T20 tournaments with 1 or 2 tours in all countries itinaries. It does not matter whether it is "good" for the game or not. The economics of the game dictates that course. It might become like football. I am not sure many of the new generation would like to spend days together watching test matches. Few die hard fans would still be there but not enough to make test matches the premier form of the game.

Posted by Charlie101 on (February 14, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

I feel our T20 and ODI squad should be free to play in the IPL to gain experience of the subcontinent . It will be interesting how the Aussies play the test series in India when so many of their players are involved in the IPL and now used to playing in subcontinent conditions. It has to be a huge advantage as they are playing in India every year - I am thinking of Warner , Watson etc

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 14, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

To allow CC players the chance to play a full ipl season would presently mean delaying the start of the Eng int season until mid June and probably having to scrap the 2 early test matches in the season, which would create a huge lost for the ECB & a need to renogtiate their current deal with Sky which would surly worth far less than it present. This would lead to a reduction in CC players salaries. This would potentially create an even bigger problem than the one the ECB already has as the majority of CC players would not be picked up by franchises but would still have their salaries drastically reduced. Of the current group of players I would say only Swann & maybe Anderson & Broad would be likley to be picked up in the auction if they were all avaialble for a full season. Prior isn't viewed as a T20 specialist & would by no means certain to be picked up. As KP found out last yr CC players cannot have their cake & eat it.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

I actually agree with Prior if more England players are allowed to play in the IPL it will help them with the problem that comes when playing in countries like India and Pakistan against the spin however, it will be interesting to see how the ECB take this comment from Prior and how it effects their relationship with him

Posted by TM on (February 14, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Agree with @R_U_4_REAL_NICK and im an indian fan i think no IntenationalT20 and then have the world cup every 4 years or limit each team to 3 T20 matches per year

Posted by torsha on (February 14, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

ECB can't deny the fact that their players want to play IPL. ECB shouldn't be rigid in this matter.

Posted by saifur.raffael on (February 14, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

Shame on you Prior, Didnt expect this kind of thing from Prior. Really keen to hear ECB's comment about this. Not to be surprised if he gets kicked out of England squad just for the IPL.

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (February 14, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

I think Cricket, unlike many other sports, has a problem with this because its governing body is just too weak to take any substantial decisions. The solution for this might be to start eliminating a few games and streamlining the sport. Just as an idea: You can put an end to all other 50 over games at international level completely and just have one World Cup every four yeas to determine the best in the format. Only have Test matches at the international level. Leave T20s to only the 'club level' and scrap it completely as a competition between nations. Give all the leagues a single window of 2 months, if players are not sufficient for so many leagues to happen, too bad; get over it!! It is not an ECB or BCCI problem, at its core it is an ICC problem, since the sports governing body does not put its foot down when needed.

Posted by kentjones on (February 14, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

At some point the ECB has to recognise the enticement of the IPL to its players and must find a middle road that would allow participation by its premier players in IPL and other such leagues but also have them available for selection. It is a modern day problem for most cricket boards and demands a studied approach that would yield benefit for both player and board. A heavy handed approach by the ECB while it may have desired results for them in the short term will pose long term issues that could eventually backfire if they remain inflexible and indifferent to its players. It is time for the ECB's thinking room to tackle this issue that will not go away anytime soon.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (February 14, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

Front-Foot_lunge, I'll be interested to read your views if any Aussie players are injured playing the IPL and cannot play in the Ashes. If Clarke (your trump card) gets injured or whinges about the schedule or plays a tired shot in the Ashes and blames fatigue, then he has no one to blame but himself. Aus summer plus Indian tour plus a full English summer is a tough grind. You say 'free-market' but that cuold well turn into 'mercenary' if he pulls one of those very tender hamstrings of his. Why not wait until another year or has he realised that the Ashes is a forlorn hope? If he got injured, the Ausses shouldn't bother turning up.

Posted by UndertheGrill on (February 14, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

The crux of the problem for the ECB when faced with these requests to allow an IPL window is the constraints put on it by the English (and Welsh) climate, as if they were to move test matches (or any international matches) out of May, there's no spare capacity to schedule them elsewhere. The English season can hardly continue into October (and even then it would end up clashing further with the CLT20). At the moment, the IPL runs until late May, and the CLT20 starts in late September, and England can't fit all their international committments into this window. Even if they did create this window there's no guarantee that English players would get bought anyway with the current diplomatic impasse between the ECB and BCCI (you only have to look at the exclusion of Pakistani players to see that). With the proliferation of T20 leagues around the world now there should be ample opportunities for decent English players to line their pockets with T20 lucre elsewhere.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 14, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

All T20 Internationals should be scrapped as the format is an absolute joke and Russian roulette anyway. This would free up more time for players to focus on pinnacle tests, and take part in franchises like the IPL if they wish provided test schedules allow for this.

Posted by bonaku on (February 14, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

It is foolish to say that (all) exodus will lead to dilution. There is the possibility, but they will have many more advantages a player, as they will have experience in playing in front of big crowds, with great players and very good game experience. Look what happened to Warner and Watson (I didn't mean to say that IPL is the only reason, but for sure it can help them in more than one ways) they have improved their game a lot (especially Warner's confidence). At the end of the day you can hold the water flowing from high to low ground for a while, when the pressure increases it will obviously break the dams. Last year it was KP, now it is prior. May be next year there will be more. In a open market, you cant deny people opportunities.

Posted by MartinC on (February 14, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

Its all very simple really if you are an English player and want to play in the IPL dont sign a central contract. If your County will not let you play in the IPL then dont sign a County contract - go free lance and see if you can get an IPL contract.

The English International and First Class game will carry on with the players who do want to sign County and Central contracts.

If over time enough players take the IPL route and it starts to harm the performance of the England team in Test cricket or the First Class game here the ECB might take steps to try to accomodate players. I would not hold by breath though.

Posted by Juiceoftheapple on (February 14, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

I think Matt Prior is an amazing batsman, but I spend shed loads of money to watch England and Somerset live and on the box, this money goes to paying you and your team mates very handsomely. If you dont like this cash then you can kiss goodbye to your England and County contract as far I'm concerned. And good luck at the auction. The IPL has zero respect for English batsman, for the wider formats of the game or for any other country, therefore tell me why the world should should adjust for it. The ECB's rigid stand leaves a few wealthy cricketers slightly less well off than they would otherwise be. Get over it.

Posted by RFC73 on (February 14, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

The ECB are actually too soft on the players. I'd ban them from ALL 20/20 leagues except England's. After all the BBCI don't let Indian players play 20/20 leagues outside India...

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (February 14, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

The IPL has shown little interest in the problems of national boards. Even if a 'window' was created, there is no guarantee that the IPL would not want to extend its window, or even have another one. It would do this based on the money it could make - irrespective of the consequences of cricket in other countries. Changing national schedules to benefit , at most, ten players is a nonsense. The Gilchrist option of retiring a year or so early and playing IPL , or whatever, seems the best option. Have a proper career and then play some exhibition stuff.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Simple solution.. If you don't like the contract you're offered..don't sign it. Why should test cricket fixtures have to be organised so as to accommodate lower grade domestic T20 competitions. If your boss is not paying you enough, then go where the money is better.. That's what normal people in most other jobs have to do. And is Prior really suggesting that there are that many English interntaional cricketers likely to be snapped up by IPL and the like. The same thing applies to county cricketers. The county offers them a salary with conditions. If you don't like it, reject it.You'll soon realise there aren't untold riches and opportunities on the other side. Sure there is for a few.. but since the majority of top jobs are already filled. how many others would be bought.. So unless there is a huge proliferation of T20 competitions worldwide, which do not overlap, the answer is very few.There's an old adage here.. the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 14, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

Very interesting to know what the opinion of the ECB is on Matt Prior's comments?

Posted by   on (February 14, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge: Players like Gambir, Cook, Steyn, Philander, Saeed Ajmal etc. are and will always be classical cricketers and they can never be extinct. You have used chinarey to impute the success of Waughs/Warnes to IPL-style cricket or "free market organisations", but it's almost the opposite. Any exposure to IPL in the beginning would have ruined Warne's bowling. In fact, Australians didn't expose Warne to ODI cricket in the first two years of his international career. On the contrary, the true products of these "free market" organisations are like Paul Valthaty, Swapnil Asnodkar, Parvinder Awana or those spinners who can't turn the ball. Where does Valthaty compare to Gambhir? Gambir has etched a place in the upper echelons of Indian cricket. Does anyone remember Paul Valthaty? IPL has ruined the standard of cricket in India. Nobody wants to be a Steyn when an R. Vinay Kumar can fetch more salary than him. Where are quality spinners?

Posted by CSK_greatest_of_all on (February 14, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

So many people say Test is the best form of cricket and I agree to it 100%. But very few artist lived a comfortable life...same thing goes to Test Cricketers....either give them enough money after they retire or let them play in IPL so that it secures their living after retirement. And ECB should stop that ego...there was a time when ECB had veto power but now its in the hands of BCCI and tomorrow it might in the hands of Zimbabwe....u cant be the big fish in the pond all the time...let the players have some say

Posted by WBoy on (February 14, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Front-Foot_lunge: The ECB an 'old and dusty institution'? It was only created in 1997! I haven't checked them all, but I would guess it's the youngest national governing body amnobng the test-playing nations!.

Posted by JulianDawson on (February 14, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Well considered response by George Dobell. We dilute the quality and integrity of the County Championship at the expense of the long-term success of the England team.

Posted by Pristine_Whites on (February 14, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

This article is very unbalanced with a clear anti-window stance. I love Test cricket (even bought tkts for the NZL test this summer!) but the ECB have to either create a glitzy domestic product where the players can earn large sums or accede to their demands to allow them the opp to take part in the Indian Cash cow. County Championship cricket has never had such a dearth of the world's best players (name a star player from the 70's/80's who didnt play for a county) yet we have the most competitive England side for a long time. ECB focus should be on creating a great rival product or work with IPL to set up a 20-20 league which is more appealing to non-Indians - George's point of those other countries listed setting up leagues which lead to players demanding more windows ignores the fact none of those would ever be able to pay the players enough to force that window.

Posted by JayPmorgan on (February 14, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Matt Prior :"If you ask any Englishman or Australian, 'would you rather score a T20 hundred or an Ashes hundred?' I know which one most people would go with,"

I read this as apart from the Ashes , all other Test series are rendered inconsequential compared to the lure of IPL money, therefore the ECB better start accommodating it or else . More than a whiff of arrogance me thinks

Posted by Hammond on (February 14, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

Don't do it Matty! T20 kills technique.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 14, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

England's discipline towards playing for country and not for the IPL shows how much they value the best form of the game. Playing for their country at the highest level, test level, is more important than popcorn cricket. How refreshing it is to see such world class players make a stand on such an ethical issue within the game.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (February 14, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

This is what happens when you follow the approach of the ECB, as an organisation they are unbending. They are, like many of the very old and dusty institutions in the UK, based so much on tradition and a 'statist' approach to management, that players with any entrepreneurialism within them, ends up being at logger-heads with management. This happened with Peitersen and Prior warns that it will only be a matter of time before it happens with another player. England loves their institutions, and by and large, the population loves ceding individual control to them but they have no place in the modern landscape. Australia, on the other hand loves free-market players that are individual and free-flowing, expressive and talented, these are the Warnes, the Waughs, the Borders, the Bradmans. ECB is rapidly becoming a dinosaur, made extinct by a asteroid in the form of the BCCI, IPL and other free-market organisations.

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