Since winning the T20 World Cup in 2010, it’s been down hill for England’s side in the shorter forms of the game. The likes of India and Sri Lanka amongst others have moved ahead of the Three Lions in recent years, leaving them lagging behind somewhat. Their form as a national team hasn’t ben disastrous but it hasn’t progressed or stayed at the level you would have hoped.
The Natwest T20 blast back home simply isn’t a strong enough competition for players to grow. I believe more English players need to play abroad to progress their game. Improvements have been made in that department recently, due to a handful moving to the Australian Big Bash League this year. The majority have been a success and it just proves that English players are good enough to play these big foreign tournaments around some of the world’s best T20 players. It also shows that it can be beneficial for the players growth, with some displaying outstanding form.
However the standout T20 league is of course the IPL, with only Kevin Pieterson making headway on the sub-continent in recent times. The quality of cricket and atmospheres in the stadiums are second to none and more England players should just take the plunge. Many young players are at a good enough level now to be placed in the draft and moving could only bring positives.
What’s more, playing in the IPL could help English players gain a better understanding of how to play the sub-continental pitches, of which they have struggles on for decades. You see that the best T20 players are generally coming from that part of the world now. Going and working alongside these players as well as the top coaches, could really help them reach that kind of level. The technique and shot playing of the players within the league is at a level that many should aspire to reach.
Furthermore in recent times many an Indian or Sri Lankan player have come over to English shores to improve their test skills as the home of cricket is seen as the place to come and hone your skills in the red ball game. Sachin Tendulkar at Yorkshire being the prime example.
England desperately need to improve in the shorter formats of the game and moving to the IPL could really reap some rewards for the national teams performance. If the likes of Joe Root, Alex Hales and Jason Roy really have aspirations to become amongst the world’s best then perhaps they should just take the sacrifice and move. You really can’t see many negatives of doing so and it could be the future if we are to genuinely compete on the world stage once again. That’s the best level, for the best players, so that is where you should aim to be. English aren’t known for travelling well but as professional cricketers their careers should come first and there are worse places to ply your trade than in the beautiful country of India.
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