Amid criticism of the rotation policy of England players who suffered a crushing 317-run defeat in the second Test match against India, coach Chris Silverwood said it was ‘very difficult’ to tell players not to play in the ‘Indian Premier League’.
The England and Wales Cricket Board decided to include players in all formats, especially Ben Stokes, Jose Butler, Johnny Bairstow, Moin Ali, as part of the rotation policy on tours of India and Sri Lanka. Silverwood was asked at a press conference about the importance being given to the IPL over Test matches, saying, “It is very difficult to suggest to the players that you cannot play the IPL.” If you just look at the number (earnings), you cannot say the same. The IPL T20 is the top tournament in the world and hence it is very difficult.
Under the rotation policy, Stokes and Joffra Archer did not travel to Sri Lanka while Butler and Ali returned to England after the first and second Test respectively. If Bairstow and Mark Wood are linked with the team, the same Archer can return home before the limited overs series while Butler can rejoin the team.
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When asked that a lot of players withdrew from the Big Bash League in Australia but they are resorting to rotation policy in Test matches to play in the IPL, they said, ‘I don’t think it’s an issue because We benefit from players playing in top level T20 cricket. Players also benefit greatly from this. Obviously the player has to make up his mind about these tournaments (IPL, BBL, CPL). They go there to play but it also benefits us. This former fast bowler has adjusted to these situations.
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Silverwood said, “I am completely reconciled with it.” Test cricket is a priority, at least for me. Players like Stokes, Archer, Chris Woakes have been retained by the IPL franchises, while Moeen Ali, David Malan along with 15 other players will be part of the auction on Thursday.