IPL may not feature many England players - Sean Morris
Sean Morris, who took over as the chief executive of the Rajasthan Royals franchise on Monday, has said he does not expect many more England players to feature in the third edition of the IPL. Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen were the two big England signings last year, joining Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively for US$1.55 million each. However, conflicting schedules this year could affect the chances of newer players from England being recruited, Morris said.
"I don't think there will be that many more England players involved," Morris was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph. "I think teams have worked out that consistency in selection throughout the tournament is key and to have Australian or English players coming and going doesn't necessarily make for the best structure of a side."
England's Test players will miss the first 12 days of the IPL due to their tour of Bangladesh, and those selected for the ICC World Twenty20 will assemble in the West Indies on April 25, the date of the final of the IPL.
"It is pretty difficult for the English guys to go for the maximum amount of money at the auction [US$750,000] and it will be interesting to see how their availability is reflected in the auction prices," Morris said. "There will be a fair number that don't go for as much as they thought because they can't commit for the full time."
Morris, a former chief executive of England's Professional Cricketers' Association, has been handed the responsibility of broadening the franchise's base outside India, which could also mean more matches abroad, thereby increasing the players' workloads. The financial gains of Twenty20 cricket could, Morris felt, prompt players to retire much earlier and cash in.
"There is quite a lot of desire for the Royals to go and play, and in two days I have already had two invitations to play in tournaments in other parts of the world," Morris said. "But it is going to be hard for us because we have not got the window that people have been banging on about. It makes the player who has just retired a bit more valuable and sides will become more attracted to players like Andrew Flintoff. Those players who are now aged 30 or 31 are thinking quite hard about it [retiring].
"But we have to work out how to work together because if there is conflict I know who will win. The players have worked out where the better rewards are in the shorter time frame.
"Towards the end of my time at the PCA I started to get the feeling that at ICC level people were beginning to appreciate that we had to work together on this."