Since Twenty20 cricket became popular about a decade ago, England have won the World T20 once, finished runners-up once in the Champions Trophy and failed miserably in each of the World Cups since 2007.
During this time they have won the Ashes thrice and defeated India in India. It indicates a clear lack of balance in the way England have perceived the shorter forms of the game. That was again exposed in the World Cup, a stunning loss to Bangladesh knocking them out in the group stages.
So while so many top international players have flocked to the IPL again, England are playing a Test series against a West Indies side devoid of their biggest hitters and best spinner.
England might win, but history shows they rarely carry Test form into other formats.
To reverse the slide, England ODI captain Eoin Morgan suggests more exposure to pressure situations like the ones IPL throws up almost every day.
“It’s a great experience for overseas players, an opportunity to learn new skills and improve, keeping in mind the World Cup that happens next year. It teaches you how to cope with the pressure, the crowd, and the fact that you are watched by a huge TV audience,” Morgan told HT over the phone.
“Only if you play over a few years will it help in improving the skill level. Playing just one season of IPL won’t help.” Morgan said.
Morgan and Ravi Bopara are the only two players allowed the maximum IPL window by the England cricket board this year. They are among the three English players Sunrisers Hyderabad had invested in this year.
Kevin Pietersen negotiated a deal with the team to pull out and play county cricket for Surrey in an attempt to make an England comeback.
Morgan had made it clear during the World Cup that IPL would be his priority after he failed to get a Test berth last year. He said the poor number of England players in the IPL didn’t reflect the real picture.
“A lot of guys are keen on improving in T20 cricket,” said Morgan, who is yet to get a game this IPL. “But right now, the schedule is such that we don’t have many T20s to play. So it’s best to concentrate on playing as many domestic T20 matches as possible.”
The ECB has invariably given the thumbs down to T20 leagues across the world. But incoming board chairman, Colin Graves, has initiated a rethink, and wants England to have a franchise T20 league of its own.