After months of debates and heated negotiations, it emerged yesterday that the England Cricket Board has agreed to release their stars for the Indian Premier League in April.
In September, the ECB offered central contracts to the England player. However they insisted that the England players would only be released for two weeks in order to compete in the lucrative IPL. This was deemed unacceptable by the ‘IPL’ board and there was rumours of discontent among the England players.
Subsequently the ECB have come to a compromise allowing players to go to India for three weeks of the competition. The IPL starts on April 10th. The players most likely to benefit from this decision are Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood.
Not only are they the best players that England have at their disposal, but they are up there with the very best in the world. Their potential earnings for the three week stint in India could be over a $1 million. They will be entered into the forthcoming IPL auction.
When asked his thoughts on the prospect of featuring in the league Collingwood commented:
”From our point of view, the IPL is exciting.”
However there have been concerns raised about whether allowing the players to compete in India will affect their performances in the following test series against the West Indies on home turf. But the players maintain that it won’t have a negative impact on their performance when they return.
Indeed it may prove to be just what the England players need after a dreadful winter tour of India. It may allow them to erase painful memories of the thrashing they received in the one day internationals.
It also ensures there will be no more controversy within the squad. The recent dismissal of Kevin Pietersen as captain has already caused ruption within the team.
There was a strong desire within the England camp to go and compete in the IPL. If the ECB had refused this extension it would have left the England players with a difficult decision: either play for their country or play in the IPL.
Ultimately it’s good news for cricket fans worldwide as they will enjoy the biggest names in English cricket joining other cricket stars throughout the world in the IPL.
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