England Players Unlikely To Feature In The Rescheduled IPL 2021: Ashley Giles
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England Players Unlikely To Feature In The Rescheduled IPL 2021: Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles GARETH COPLEY/GETTY IMAGES
Ashley Giles GARETH COPLEY/GETTY IMAGES

Ashley Giles, England Director of Cricket, hinted England’s centrally-contracted players may not be available for the remainder of the IPL matches. The BCCI has not yet finalized a new window for the rescheduled IPL 2021. IPL was postponed indefinitely due to positive Covid-19 cases in bio-bubbles of franchises in India.

England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Ashley Giles has said England’s centrally-contracted players, including ODI captain Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler, are likely to miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 if and when it takes place due to clashes with the international calendar.

Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket.
Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Ashley Giles Expects England Players Available For Bangladesh And Pakistan Tours

IPL 2021 got underway in April in India but was suspended and postponed indefinitely on May 4 after the completion of 29 matches due to several Covid-19 positive cases in bio-bubbles of multiple franchises across Delhi and Ahmedabad.

India has been hit badly by the 2nd wave of coronavirus infections with daily cases surging past 4,00,000. Several KKR players and CSK coaches contracted the virus along with Delhi’s Amit Mishra and Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha which gave BCCI no option other than to postpone IPL.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has stressed that IPL 2021 is only suspended and not cancelled. Board president Sourav Ganguly has spoken about the losses the board could incur if the remainder of the IPL did not take place but stressed it’s too early for the board to consider a new window. There is a potential window before the upcoming T20 World Cup in October.

However, England is scheduled to tour Bangladesh and Pakistan in the said window as preparations for this year’s T20 World Cup will get underway.

“If those tours go ahead I’d expect them (players) to be there. We’re planning on the involvement of England players in England matches,” Ashley Giles told the media.

Several of England’s Test prospects, notably Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow, and Moeen Ali, are currently serving a quarantine period which ends at the weekend, while a few more – Ben Stokes, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, and Jofra Archer – are nursing injuries.

Ashley Giles: New Zealand Scenario Was Different And England Players Who Have Returned From India Will Not Be Rushed Into Action

Ashley Giles had previously agreed that England players who were involved in the latter stages of the IPL could miss the two-Test series against top-ranked New Zealand starting June 2.

“The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those matches were formalized at the end of January, by which time contracts were signed for players to have full involvement in the IPL,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ashley Giles also said England players who have returned from India and are serving quarantine will not be rushed into international action, adding that the ECB is focused on workload management of their centrally-contracted players. The director hinted that there may be new faces for the 2 match Test series against New Zealand.

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. – AFP

Following the postponement of the IPL, England internationals Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, and Moeen Ali – all currently serving their 10-day isolation period in government-approved hotels.

“We need to look after them, with the amount of cricket they’ve got coming up, we’re not going to rush or force them back into cricket. (Head coach) Chris Silverwood will work with each and every one of them, as will our medical teams, on what’s best for their progress,” Ashely Giles added.

That means England is likely to use the two New Zealand Tests to provide opportunities for Ollie Robinson and James Bracey, who are both uncapped at the international level and recall Craig Overton, who has played four Tests and an ODI. All three have impressed in county cricket over a sustained period. Ben Foakes could also win a first Test cap in England.