Picture Credit: X/IPL

Picture Credit: X/IPL

With the IPL 2024 edition moving towards the knockout stage, the top four teams in Kolkata Knight Riders, SunRisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru will be without their England signings. While Jos Buttler’s absence has haunted the Sanju Samson-led side in the latter half of the league stage, KKR will also miss Philip Salt.

However, this turned out to be a shocking move with the England players withdrawing from the tournament to prepare for the T20 World Cup 2024, set to be played in June, despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conducting talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)

But recently, Punjab Kings coach Sanjay Bangar opened up on ECB’s decision. Bangar, who spoke after PBKS’ four-wicket defeat against SRH in IPL 2024 said that the ECB had communicated this at the time of the auction in December 2023. 

“When we went to the auction, the ECB had made it clear that all the players will be available. It is just that it so happens that the tournament got slightly extended, I would say, because of multiple reasons. Everybody was in a similar position, but we lost those English players,” Sanjay Bangar said. 

Overseas players’ absence hurt us: Sanjay Bangar on PBKS’ dismal season

The PBKS coach while speaking of the team’s disappointing performance in the 2024 edition of the tournament, called unavailability of overseas players as one of the reasons. However, he clarified that it wasn’t the sole reason.

“For us, even losing Livingstone with a niggle around his knee, the ECB pulling him out. Even KG (Kagiso Rabada) had an infection and he has to go back (to South Africa). Those things coupled together meant that when we came to the last two matches, we were short of players of international pedigree and experience. That hurt us but that is not the sole reason why our season was below par,” he further added. 

The Punjab Kings finished at the ninth place, only above Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024. Out of their 14 league games, they came out victorious in only five of them and finished with 10 points to their name.