The controversy between the country and the club often raises the head in the football game when the main clubs of the world have been deemed reluctant to release players for national assignments. But this has now become a topic of discussion in cricket as well. Many top cricketers are not playing for their country when the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) hosts their national tournament based on the Twenty20 franchise – the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Almost all the cricketers all over the world are eager to play in the lucrative league of Indian money spinning. And this, in some cases, causes the cricket councils of the countries to disagree with their players.
Just a week before the tournament returned to India after being hosted in the UAE last time, the issue hit the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as top England players like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes risk missing the first test against New Zealand if their respective IPL teams qualify for the play-offs.
A total of 13 English players will take part in the 2021 IPL. England’s first test against New Zealand will start on June 2 while the IPL is scheduled to end on May 30. However, the series against the Black Caps was scheduled after the no-objection. Certificates (NOCs) for IPL were granted to players.
While the ECB had previously made it clear that all of its players will be available for the duration of the IPL, ECB cricket director Ashley Giles has said he does not want the love of England players to represent their country to turn into a ‘kiss of death’ by forcing them to skip parts of IPL. “I don’t want this to be a kiss of death. I think we have to understand that this could be a danger in the future. We don’t particularly want to confront our players about their long-term participation in the IPL, as we risk losing some of our best players, ”he added.
But that logic did not go well with former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott criticizing England players for prioritizing IPL over national duty. “The players seem to forget that the IPL wouldn’t come and call them if they hadn’t played for England first. So they owe a debt of gratitude and loyalty for putting England first. I would never stop them from winning this, but not by missing games for England to do so, ”Boycott wrote recently in one of his columns.
A furious boycott has suggested penalties and money be tied up for players taking a break to return home between national duty and also urged the board not to pick players who cannot play a full series .
“I bet you won’t see any of our players leaving IPL because they miss their wife, girlfriend or kids. If the players want to go home for a break from duty in England, deposit their money. Better yet, don’t select them unless they agree to be available for a whole series. It’s a reckless way of running English cricket, they should all be ashamed and embarrassed, ”Boycott wrote.
However, another former English cricketer came to support the players. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen said no international matches should be scheduled during the T20 event.
“Cricket councils need to realize that @IPL is the biggest show in town. DO NOT plan any international matches while it is in progress V vv singles! Pietersen tweeted.
The issue also sparked a storm in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) when the chairman of the BCB’s cricket operations committee, Akram Khan, said the board could reconsider the NOC issued to Shakib Al Hasan after the star accused the council of misinterpreting his letter to Shakib Al Hasan. BCB is asking permission to skip the Sri Lanka tests in April in order to play in IPL. Bangladesh were due to travel to Sri Lanka for a two-match test series, which is also part of the ICC World Testing Championship, from April 21 to May. However, things were settled when the director of the BCB, Ismail Haider, declared that “Shakib’s NOC will remain as it is and he can go and participate in the IPL.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has meanwhile decided to allow its IPL-linked players, who are also part of the Proteas squad for the Pakistani Series, to leave for India after the second ODI on April 4.
Pakistan will play three World Cup Super League matches from April 2-7 and four T20Is from April 10-16, but South African cricketers participating in the IPL will fly to India after the second. match.
A number of South African players – Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje (both from the Delhi capitals), hard hitter David Miller (Rajasthan Royals), stimulator Lungi Ngidi (Chennai Super Kings) and wicket batsman Quinton from Kock (Mumbai Indians) – are thus expected to join their respective franchises before IPL.