We are slowing inching towards that time of the year when the cricketing world’s eyes are fixed on the circus that is the Indian Premier League. Fans from across are glued to their screens as they watch their favourite players take the field with one another rather than against each other.
However, not everyone is impressed by the IPL phenomenon, England national team coach Trevor Bayliss recently made it clear that he wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recall his English stars from the IPL if he feels the situation demands it. Out of the 150 players signed up in the recently held IPL auction, 8 players were from England. And even though both the English captains, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan went unsold, players like Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali went for the big bucks.
The 11th season of the IPL is scheduled to kick off on April 7th and will fall right in between England series with New Zealand and the start of England’s domestic season. Speaking about the danger of England players participation in the IPL right before the English season, Bayliss told Skyports, “We have important series on the way and if they have to come back early then they will. If they have niggles they will not go. If someone gets a bit of a niggle while they are there we will pull them back.”
ECB in the past has been sceptical about allowing its players to participate in the Indian domestic T20 league but having seen the progress the English players have made in world cricket mainly benefitting for IPL, it has eased its stance quite a bit in the last few years.
Bayliss in the past has himself coached Kolkata Knight Riders in the past and is clear that there are definite positives the league has on the graph of a player. Citing the example of Ben Stokes from last years tournament, Bayliss said, “If we look at Stokes he was on fire last year. I’m not saying that will happen to everybody, but the way he batted when he came back it was a step up in class from where he was before.
“It is a learning curve for everyone. But just the experience they get playing in some of these tournaments against some of the best players in the world, with different coaches in different environments with big crowds is huge. I think in the past the English players have missed out on that.”