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Bopara has IPL change of heart

George Dobell

January 20, 2012

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Ravi Bopara helped to add 73 for the fourth wicket, India v England, 2nd ODI, Delhi, October 17 2011
Ravi Bopara chose to play county cricket last year to enhance his chances of selection in England's Test side © Getty Images
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Ravi Bopara, who relinquished an IPL deal last year to concentrate on winning a place in England's Test side, has changed his stance by joining a host of England players in the preliminary list for the 2012 player auction.

Bopara chose to play County Championship cricket for Essex early last season on the advice of his England and Essex mentor Graham Gooch but his form was patchy and Eoin Morgan, who was unabashed about his preference for IPL, was preferred to him for the final batting spot in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Matt Prior and Chris Tremlett are among other England players who appear in the preliminary list for the 2012 IPL auction. Swann and Anderson failed to win a place last year, their appeal not enhanced by a clash with England's first home Test series of the season.

Despite a heavy schedule for England throughout 2012 - they play 15 Tests, 17 ODIs and seven Twenty20 internationals, as well as defending their World T20 title - the players are keen to follow the likes of Morgan and Kevin Pietersen in experiencing IPL and the rewards available.

Stuart Broad, England's T20 captain, might have gained from more experience in 20-over cricket but he has suffered a troubled time through injury and he will have delighted the England management by choosing to rest and recuperate.

Strictly speaking, the ECB could prevent any English players from participating in the IPL by withholding no objection certificates, but their resistance seems to be lessening, perhaps after pressure from the Professional Cricketers Association.

There may also be a growing recognition that players will want to enhance their earnings and that experience of playing in Asian conditions and against some of the best players in the world should prove beneficial ahead of the World T20 in Sri Lanka in September.

The auction will be held on February 4 in Bangalore and the IPL season runs between April 4 and May 27. The involvement of England players is likely to be curtailed by international duty, with their series in Sri Lanka not finishing until April 7 and their series against West Indies starting on May 17.

Other England, or former England, players involved in the auction are Luke Wright, who recently made the fastest century in Australian domestic T20s in the Big Bash League, Rikki Clarke, Jade Dernbach, Simon Jones and Mal Loye. Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan international who now has a UK passport, is also included.

Swann is the only player in the preliminary list for the 2012 IPL auction to command the highest reserve price: US$400,000. Two former Australia spinners, Brad Hogg and Stuart MacGill, are the oldest players on the list, at 41 and 40 respectively. Both their reserve prices have been set at $100,000.

A total of 183 players have been listed for the auction that will be held in Bangalore, but that number does not include the players from the terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise. ESPNcricinfo understands they will be included in the final list for the auction.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno on (January 21 2012, 08:20 AM GMT) Still digging/clutching at straws I see. Part of me thinks it will do our players good , but I'd rather our fringe players or players who play OD/T20 only play in this tournament. We have a much tougher summer with a home series vs South Africa and I'd hate for any of our players to risk burnout/injuries by playing a tournament which has no relevance to test cricket

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@jonesy2 on (January 21 2012, 04:38 AM GMT) One of these Horrible T20 Players who play for that horrible T20 English side - who incidentally are number 1 and currently WC holders - is Luke Wright. He seems to have been cast aside by the English selectors. However he did I believe score the fastest 100 in another country's domestic T20 tournament , so I wonder what that says about their T20 bowling ?

Posted by Green_How on (January 21, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Bad decision from Ravi, its pretty clear that this circus has a negative impact on players technique and their careers, the Indian test team are proof of that. Poor standard competition which is massively overhyped - he would be better off playing County cricket.

Posted by 5wombats on (January 21, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroTrois; nobody cares about IPL. Nobody who matters anyway.

Posted by Baundele on (January 21, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

Good to see that Bopara is trying to change his wrong decision taken last year. Last year he was ignored from the English test team because of a single innings from Eoin Morgan. He is a useful all-rounder; but never got a stable position in the England squad. I hope he gets selected by one of the teams; he will be a good performer.

Posted by DingDong420 on (January 21, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

Glad to hear it - If hes not getting the chances with England why wait around?

Posted by spence1324 on (January 21, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

@indianumerotwo,to be honest I hope he plays in the BPL instead of the IPL because the standard of players in india are rubbish to be fair,if he go's to Bangladesh he should learn a thing or two jah ho!

Posted by Sagay-Ed on (January 21, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

I have a quick question. Where is Nasser Hussain now?

Posted by crindo77 on (January 21, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Who cares; I hope IPL viewership will continue to drop this year and in 2 years it'll be pack up time.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 21, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

@PanGlupek on (January 21 2012, 07:37 AM GMT) - I'd actually say Ravi was lucky to get back in. His average was average and that playing 2nd division cricket. Having said that when he did get back in he didn't do too much wrong. Even before this Pak trip I've always been wary about the quality of our number 6. I feel that there's a big gulf between our top 5 and the number 6 which is part the reason why I prefer 5 bowlers. As for the players listed for auction , most seem to be yesterday's men

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