Dyson, Flower blame IPL for affecting teams practice
England coach Andy Flower and his West Indies counterpart John Dyson have turned accusing fingers at the Indian Premier League for affecting the teams practice ahead of the two-Test series with the first starting at Lord's today.cricket Updated: May 05, 2009 12:57 IST
England coach Andy Flower and his West Indies counterpart John Dyson have turned accusing fingers at the Indian Premier League for affecting the teams practice ahead of the two-Test series with the first starting at Lord's on Wednesday.
While Dyson was left fuming after skipper Chris Gayle arrived late from the IPL, Flower said Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara were "under-prepared" as they were involved in the Twenty20 league in South Africa.
"They are (under-prepared), without a doubt, with regard to first-class cricket," Flower was quoted as saying by 'BBC'.
Pietersen played six matches for the Bangalore Royal Challengers while Bopara featured in five games for the Kings XI Punjab.
However, Collingwood didn't play any games for the Delhi Daredevils meaning he is off competitive cricket since England's final one-dayer in the Caribbean on April 3.
Moreover, England also lost the services of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who sustained a knee surgery and underwent surgery that ruled him out of the series against the West Indies.
Flower also showed his displeasure that England and Wales Cricket Board had allowed centrally contracted players to take part in the IPL in the first case.
"That is ECB policy, that they were allowed to go to the IPL in the first place," former Zimbabwe skipper Flower said.
But he was quick to douse his frustration and felt the IPL experience could prove to be beneficial.
"They have had a superb experience, the atmosphere of the tournament has excited them about the game and they have come back really energised for the season ahead," he said.
Dyson also hinted the West Indies Cricket Board didn't do the right thing by allowing Gayle and Fidel Edwards to play in the IPL prior to the series against England.
The Australian, who was hesitant in blaming Gayle outright for turning up in England just two days prior to the first Test, however pointed out, "You get medical guys saying you need time to recover from flights, coaches saying you need time to practise and prepare properly for the series – and players saying 'we can handle not doing that.'"
The West Indies coach felt time will tell whether the players can recover properly before the first Test.
"I suppose time will tell. Medical science says that everyone gets jet-lag. If your flying time is 10, 12 hours you probably need a couple of days to recover properly from the flight.
"Then you need a couple of nets and probably a practice game. That would be the minimum I would see as being ideal," said Dyson.
However, Dyson tried not to antagonise his star batsman and skipper and termed Gayle a big match player.
"Chris is a big-match player – he handles pressure, all sorts of it, very well. He's played magnificent cricket in all forms of the game over the last 12 months. He says he's in good touch, seeing the ball well.
"I ideally would like more time but we have to work with what's going. The board gave him clearance for the IPL until 2 May – but then our board considered an extra day or two didn't matter, so that's that."
Dyson, meanwhile, felt if the current situation prevails, the International Cricket Council might be forced take a look into the IPL disrupting international commitments.
"We all knew that the IPL was on and we knew that the players would be arriving when they have – late.
"I suppose this is something the ICC will look at as time goes on," said Dyson.