After a shabby performance in the Ashes 2021-22, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is mulling over its player's participation in the Indian Premier League. The board is unhappy with the performance put by the Test team and hence wants the players to focus more on the longest format. Also, ECB's scheduling might clash with the IPL 2022 schedule as England is set to host New Zealand in the first week of June.
England have lost their last three bilateral series including the Ashes 2021-22. The Three Lions have already surrendered and are 0-3 down with one match still left. Most of all, they have been defeated by New Zealand and Indian on their own turf. This has forced their cricket board to take some serious actions going forward and putting an end to participation in the IPL might be one of them. In fact, the Managing Director of the ECB Ashley Giles has already prepared a full-fledged plan to improve the team's red-ball performance.
Even in the past, ECB has been hesitant to send its players into the Indian Premier League.
Major blow for CSK and RR
If ECB decides to not send its players to the IPL, it may prove too costly for a few franchises. England all-rounder Moeen Ali and swashbuckling Jos Buttler have been retained by their respective franchises ahead of the mega auctions. Chennai Super Kings have bet on Ali while Rajasthan Royals have chosen Jos Buttler as one of their retentions. Also, players like Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer are big names in the Indian T20 League.
With IPL 2022 getting even bigger and two new teams coming in, these players could bag huge contracts. Other players also might be hoping to go under the hammer in the mega auctions on February 12 and 13. Thus, this decision from ECB would be an interesting one.
Is ECB right in blaming IPL?
ECB targeting IPL for their Test team's shabby performance sounds a bit strange. England players play in many leagues all around the globe. The board itself has started a brand new league, The Hundred. While the board is claiming participation in T20 leagues affecting players' performance in red-ball cricket, the England captain had pointed fingers towards the level of cricket being played at the domestic level in the country.