LONDON: The Indian Premier League has helped us a lot, says ECB Managing Director Ashley Giles, who believes the presence of English cricketers in the lucrative T20 tournament helped the national team take first place in white ball formats.
Earlier this week, England star player Jos Buttler said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had never asked him to skip the popular T20 event in order to be available for the test series against New Zealand, which is said to conflict with the finals of the IPL.
“In my briefings with the players, I encouraged the players to think very carefully about their programs. I didn’t lead them,” Giles told Sky Sports “The Hussain and Key Cricket Show.”
“We don’t force a path. The IPL is not going anywhere. It has extreme advantages for us. From this group here, I think 12 of the 16 players go to the IPL.
“Years ago it was very difficult for players to get into the IPL to experience this tournament. Now all of our players are in great demand and it’s probably the big reason we’re number one in the world in both white ball formats are.” Said Giles.
There are 12 English cricketers, some with million dollar contracts, playing in the IPL. Players include Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer for Rajasthan Royals, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran for Chennai Super Kings, Tom Curran for Delhi Capitals and Dawid Malan for Punjab Kings.
The IPL is scheduled to start on April 9th. The final is slated for May 30th, while England’s opening test against New Zealand begins on June 2nd.
“We agreed that the players would go to the IPL. These two test matches were arranged late, they weren’t part of the original schedule.
“We had agreed with the players and the IPL that the players would be available throughout the tournament and that they would be able to participate when they reached the later stages,” said Giles.
“We haven’t renounced that, and I don’t think we should. We should stick to almost everything from a contractual point of view.”
The former weirdo, who took 54 Tests and 62 ODIs between 1997 and 2006, defended England’s much-criticized rotation policy, saying it would be done to keep the players ahead of the ICC World T20 and Ashes slated for later this year To keep up to date.
“We’re trying to find a balance and get to a place where we can be sustainably successful. We have two really important strategic goals that we’re aiming for at the end of the year: the T20 World Cup and the Ashes.
“We still have a lot to do. We want to hold both White Ball trophies – that would be a fantastic achievement for this team – and we want to win back the ashes in Australia.”
Giles believes it is necessary for players to rest to avoid burnout in an extremely difficult year ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want healthy people – mentally and physically – to go to the Ashes and to the T20 World Cup. Given the workload and the schedule, our biggest concern was that we wouldn’t be able to do this if we weren’t really proactive.”
“I still think very much that we can go to Australia and challenge. It’s still a big goal of ours and we know how difficult it is going to be,” he said.