IPL-bound England players counselled to be on guard against burn-out by Chris Silverwood

England coach wants players to keep in touch as they exchange one bio-secure environment for another

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
England's IPL-bound players have been cautioned by Chris Silverwood, their head coach, to keep checking in with the management to guard against burn-out, as they prepare to swap a summer of bio-secure bubbles in England for another seven-week stint in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah between September 19 and November 10
A total of 10 England players will feature in this year's competition, which gets underway in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, including seven of the men who were involved in the recent T20I and ODI series against Australia.
Eoin Morgan, the England captain, will be linking up with Kolkata Knight Riders, alongside Tom Banton, while Jos Buttler, Tom Curran and Jofra Archer are headed for Rajasthan Royals' bubble, where they will be joined by Australia's captain Steve Smith, and potentially Ben Stokes as well, although he is currently in New Zealand for personal reasons.
Moeen Ali (Bangalore), Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers) and Sam Curran (Super Kings) are among the other England players who picked up deals for this year's tournament. They are among a total of 21 IPL-bound players - including ten members of the Australian camp - who will land in the UAE on a specially chartered flight from Manchester on Thursday evening, before splitting off into their respective franchises.
And speaking in the wake of England's three-wicket defeat in the third ODI at Emirates Old Trafford - where Australia claimed the series 2-1 - Silverwood said he was realistic about both the financial and the competitive imperatives of taking part in such a competition, but encouraged his players to exercise caution.
"It's their decision really … but we'll have to keep an eye on them," he said. "Obviously, the contracts are good for them but equally as well we're looking forward at a T20 World Cup. The more high-class T20 they can play will be a good thing for us."
"The one thing that I have encouraged is that they keep talking to us; we need to make sure that they don't burn out as well."
Morgan has already spoken positively about joining his KKR team-mates at their beach-fronted hotel in the UAE - which promises a more pleasant lifestyle than the pitch-side hotels in Manchester and Southampton.
Nevertheless, Silverwood remains cautious about his players' welfare - not least that of Archer, who is due to link up with Rajasthan Royals this week, but has hinted that he will pull out of the Big Bash in Australia, after acknowledging the mental toll that a total of three months in the England bubble had taken on him.
While England were careful to manage their players' welfare as best they could - with Buttler, for instance, missing the third T20I to spend his 30th birthday with his family - Archer was the one player to be sanctioned for a breach of protocol during the summer, after he made an unauthorised stop-over at his home in Brighton during the West Indies Test series.
And after Archer hinted that he had found the white-ball leg of his summer more enjoyable than his time in the Test camps against West Indies and Pakistan, Silverwood acknowledged it would be important to find ways to keep such a key player geed up across formats.
"Jofra's found being locked up difficult at times," he said. "He's not the only player, there's been quite a few. We have to do it and I'm very proud of how the guys have dealt with it.
"It's a juggling act of keeping people fresh in the mind," Silverwood added. "When people have asked to get out of the bubble, we've got them out. We said we would and we have. It's a case of making sure we don't burn people out.
"We've mixed up the coaches so they work with different people. A change of personnel, fresh voices, new ideas keeping things fresh and new opportunities for our county coaches to make their mark and see how we do things."
That mixing-up of coaches included Graham Thorpe, Silverwood's assistant, taking charge of the white-ball squad against Ireland and Pakistan. That situation may have to be repeated at stages in the winter, Silverwood acknowledged, because it is not immediately clear how England's itinerary will look when it is finalised in the coming weeks.
Their planned white-ball tour of South Africa in December is already in jeopardy, while the exact dates of their Test series against India and Sri Lanka in the new year yet to be confirmed.
"It's been strange times, no doubt about it," Silverwood said. "Things aren't going to change in a rush [so] it may be we have to take that step again. One of the things I've enjoyed is the fact my assistant coaches have got to lead the team as well, and I've had opportunities to step back and watch from a distance. That's a positive."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket