England have a busy international schedule starting in June and players are unlikely to be available for the rest of the suspended IPL if the T20 tournament is postponed this year, ECB cricket director Ashley Giles has said.
The IPL was suspended last week after several cases of COVID-19 inside its bio-bubble. There are two windows for the resumption of the T20 event this year – one is in the second half of September and before the T20 World Cup (October-November) and the other after mid-November.
But the best English players will be in action at both times. They tour Bangladesh and Pakistan in September and October, as they face Australia at the Ashes just after the T20 World Cup.
“We plan to involve the English players in the England matches. We have a full FTP schedule. So if these tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh continue, I would expect the players to be there, ”said Giles, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
There were 11 Englishmen in various franchises in the suspended IPL.
“None of us know what a revamped IPL looks like at the moment, where it will be, and when. But since the start of the summer against New Zealand, our schedule has been incredibly busy, ”said Giles.
“We have a lot of important and top level cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we’re going to have to take care of our players.
Giles dismissed the suggestion that this signals a change in the ECB’s approach, as management previously allowed a dozen players to miss the test run against New Zealand in early June due to their involvement in the IPL.
“The New Zealand scenario was very different. These tests were formalized at the end of January, when all these contracts and CNOs (certificates of no objection) were signed for full involvement in the IPL. “
Giles expressed hope that players would be allowed “a little more freedom” against the bio-bubbles as the summer in England progresses. Test players will likely enter their last bubble starting around May 28.
He also wants to see English players appear in the Hundred which will start on July 21 and run until August 21. England’s test series against India is set to begin in Nottingham on August 4.
“We would love to have them involved with the Hundreds at some point and with the launch of this contest. It would be great if our best players would play there. But we’ll have to look at the workloads very carefully. “
Giles has also hinted that England will be looking to try new faces against New Zealand.
“What we know, and what’s not going to change, is the weight of cricket. Considering the Ashes series (this winter), we don’t know under what conditions it’s going to play out at the moment in terms of a Covid environment, but we’re still going to need a larger group of players, ”a he declared.
“We can also choose against New Zealand to watch new faces. With the amount of other cricket that we have to play, we almost want it to shrink to the ashes. We have to get it right.
“Is it against New Zealand? I don’t know, this is something we need to keep discussing.