England players set to feature in Indian Premier League as tour of Bangladesh to be postponed

·3-min read
The Indian Premier League is scheduled to resume next month - PA
The Indian Premier League is scheduled to resume next month - PA

England’s players are set to be freed to play in the second half of this year’s Indian Premier League in September with the tour of Bangladesh, which was scheduled at the same time, to be postponed.

England had been due to tour Bangladesh for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals, which would have clashed with the IPL and entailed leaving England a matter of days after the end of the Test series with India on September 14.

But the postponement of the tour of Bangladesh – which is now planned to take place within the next 18 months – would leave England players with the option to rest ahead of a gruelling winter, which includes the Twenty20 World Cup and the Ashes, or participate in the IPL.

This year’s IPL was postponed in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The last half of the competition is now due to be played from September 19 to October 15 in the United Arab Emirates.

England had made it clear that their IPL contingent, which includes stars Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan, would be expected to play for the international side if England games clashed with the IPL. But with the IPL considered ideal preparation for the T20 World Cup – which will also be played in the UAE, simplifying travel and quarantine requirements – and players earning considerable sums from participating in the competition, England players will now be allowed to choose whether they want to play in the remainder of the tournament.

Given the strains of bubble life in the past 18 months, some England players contracted could still choose to miss part, or all, of the remainder of the IPL season.

The T20 World Cup begins on October 17. The start of the Super 12s – when England enter the tournament – is expected to be on October 24.

England are still set to tour Pakistan for a two-game T20I series, on October 14 and 15, which is intended to be their final preparation before the T20 World Cup. The Pakistan tour is still planned to go ahead, though it may yet come into doubt depending on quarantine requirements in both Pakistan and the UAE.

There has been severe disruption to the IPL calendar this year - GETTY IMAGES
There has been severe disruption to the IPL calendar this year - GETTY IMAGES

Ultimate confirmation of the news about the tour of Bangladesh will be made by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the home board responsible for overseeing the series.

The presence of English players in the latter stages of this year’s IPL is likely to further strengthen relations between the England & Wales Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The ECB are already engaged in continual dialogue with the BCCI about Indian men’s players being allowed to feature in future editions of the Hundred.

“I would love to see Indian players playing in the Hundred,” Sanjay Patel, the managing director of the Hundred, told Telegraph Sport last month.

“It’s an ongoing conversation. We always have conversations with the BCCI about how we can work better together, how we can work closer together. One of those things is how can we make sure our brilliant talent is available for IPL and maybe your brilliant talent is available for the Hundred.”

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