In the recent times, several reports have speculated that the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is most likley to stage the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 later in the year however, if a rescheduled 14th edition of the lucrative league takes place, the availability of England players would be doubtful.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director of Cricket Ashley Giles has said that England have a busy international schedule from June onwards and the players are unlikely to be available for the remainder of the suspended IPL if the T20 tournament is rescheduled this year.
Notably, the IPL 2021 was forced to be suspended last week after multiple COVID-19 positive cases emerged inside the tournament’s secured bio-bubble.
The BCCI has now two windows for the remiander of IPL 2021 — one is in the second half of September and before the T20 World Cup (October-November) and the second one being post mid-November.
However, the England’s top players will be in action at both times as they have tours to Bangladesh and Pakistan in September and October, while they will later feature in the high octane Ashes just after the T20 World Cup.
Commenting on England players availability, Giles said: “We’re planning on involvement of England players in England matches. We’ve got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh are going ahead, I’d expect the players to be there.”
“None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment, where it’s going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy,” Giles was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo .
“We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we’re going to have to look after our players,” he added.
Giles meanwhile, refuted claims that the ECB might change its approach as it had earlier allowed up its several cricketers to miss the Test series against New Zealand at the start of June due to their involvement in the IPL.
“The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs (no objection certificates) were signed for full involvement in the IPL,” he explained.