England players back in IPL auction
Nine English players will feature in the IPL auction on January 19 after league officials said a dispute over NOCs had been resolved. This takes to 60 the number of players who will be involved in the auction.
On Wednesday, the IPL had released what it said was the "complete" list of players who would be part of the auction; it featured none of the eight England players who were on the long-list drawn up at the beginning of the month. Those eight were Tim Bresnan, Anthony McGrath, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid, Jonathan Trott, Usman Afzaal and James Foster; with Graeme Swann now added to the mix in light of his outstanding international form.
The point of dispute was the availability of English players outside the IPL season, Sundar Raman, the IPL chief executive, told Cricinfo. "We wanted clarifications specifically related to the availability of players outside of the IPL season so we don't need to keep going back for the NOCs," he said. "Franchises then can plan friendlies and practice games outside of the IPL season. That was one of the things that needed to be ironed out."
He also said that only those players available for the full season would feature in the auction. "That is not a condition, that is a preliminary requirement," he said, adding that the ECB had cleared it.
Raman said the IPL would release the names on Friday once it received the NOCs from the ECB. The delay, he said, was because some of the English players like Jonathan Trott were busy with the Test series in South Africa. He implied that the final call on the NOCs rested with the English board. "The ECB might want some of the players to be rested or available on tour or they might want to keep a check on any player who has suffered an injury," he said.
There were reports that the IPL had introduced new changes to the terms and conditions in the NOCs; that is reported to have become a sticking point with the ECB, which wanted to sign an NOC related to the terms negotiated in February 2009. Raman said the NOCs signed in February 2009 applied to "that set of players" at that time. "But our player contracts are undergoing some changes and the new NOCs should reflect those changes in terms of his availability, payment terms and things like that," he said.