Just a day after England‘s great Sir Ian Botham called the IPL to be scrapped, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said that England player’s not playing the Indian T20 Tournament is the reason behind their struggles in the shorter formats.

England lost their one-day international series in down under tour by 4-1 at the beginning of the year and recently lost in the home series against Sri Lanka and now against India.

Critics have been firing at England’s strategy and selections for the shorter formats, with some suggesting that the team does not care about anything other than test cricket.

England may pretend as much as they can, but they do get affected by losses in ODI cricket,” said Akram, one of the all-time best pace bowlers of the world.

They just pretend to be not interested in the 50-over format. The only reason they are not good in one-day cricket right now is because they have a limited talent pool for the format.” Akram wrote in a column published in Friday’s Times of India newspaper.

Australia, India and South Africa play all year around in the shorter formats. Also all these players play IPL,” Akram added. “That has helped their cause.

England used to have a few players in IPL, but even that has stopped. That is the reason why they are struggling big time in the shorter formats.

England currently ranked fifth in the ICC Ratings for ODIs and few would wager on them in next year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, a trophy the country has never won.

While former England all-rounder Botham believes the franchise-based IPL has become too powerful and can create more corruption in the game, Akram thinks not playing in the tournament has been hurting England.

With India, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka, the teams ranked above England in the ODI rankings have their players playing in IPL. Whereas from England, Kevin Pietersen, who was sacked by the country’s cricket board earlier, was their only international player to be part of the concluded tournament this year.

Some English players made themselves unavailable for IPL to prepare themselves for summer’s test matches and some others went unsold as the players won’t be available for full duration of the April-May tournament due to the clash with the county season.

Former England captain Pietersen recently said that Indians, the 50-over world champions had been benefited from the tournament as their younger players are been given the opportunities to play with and against the world’s best.

    Cricket Statistician and Journalist. Love to churn out facts and stats. Member of the Society of Cricket Statisticians of India (SCSI).

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