SA, England players likely to leave IPL early
South African players are likely to leave IPL 2017 after May 7 while the England players are scheduled to depart the tournament in two batches - a few after May 1 and the rest after May 14. Making players available and ready for the bilateral series - South Africa's tour of England begins in mid-May - and the Champions Trophy, which starts from June 1 in England, is the chief reason why both boards want to pull out their players early.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the IPL had informed the franchises about this in an email this week along with the final updated player roster for the auction on February 20.
The franchises were also told that the BCCI is trying to discuss the issue with the Cricket South Africa to see if the South African players' stay can be extended. It is not known whether either board will release players in the event their franchise makes it to the final on May 21.
AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Faf du Plessis (Rising Pune Supergiants), JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Chris Morris (Delhi Daredevils), David Miller and Hashim Amla (Kings XI Punjab) have been retained by their respective franchises, along with England's Jos Buttler (Mumbai Indians) and Sam Billings (Daredevils).
A total of 351 players, including 122 capped internationals, will feature in the auction, which will be held in Bangalore on February 20. Although franchise officials had earlier indicated that this season's auction could be a short event, with teams trying to plug a few gaps, the likely early departure of South Africa and England players could impact the teams' auction strategies.
Of the 13 South African players who have entered the auction, CSA is interested specifically in the release of Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Farhaan Behardien, Wayne Parnell, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius. Except for Ngidi, who is recovering from a hip injury, the other six players are part of the limited-overs squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand.
An official privy to the discussions between the BCCI and CSA said that it was a one-off situation which could not be avoided. South Africa's tour of England will begin with two practice matches followed by the three-ODI series scheduled between May 24 and 29. The three T20Is and the four Tests will be played after the Champions Trophy. The official said that CSA is keen on getting the best possible preparation for the Champions Trophy, given the team's record in ICC tournaments, and had thus sought an early release of its main players from the IPL.
As for the England players, a few may leave for the two ODIs against Ireland on May 5 and 7. An official with one of the franchises said that prominent players like Buttler and some of the players who have entered the auction, like Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes, could leave after May 14 to prepare for the ODIs against South Africa.
Morgan, Stokes and fast bowler Chris Woakes are part of the list of marquee players who have listed the maximum base price of INR 2 crore (approx US $298,000) for the auction. The other England players in the auction are wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow (INR 1.5 crore), opening batsmen Alex Hales and Jason Roy (INR 1 crore), and fast bowlers Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills (INR 50 lakh).
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo