'It is very difficult to say to the players that no you can't play IPL': England head coach Silverwood
- England head coach Chris Silverwood said it is ‘difficult’ to stop the players from participating in the IPL.
Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran are some of the prominent England cricketers who have been retained by their respective franchises for IPL 2021 and after the auctions, on Thursday a few more can be added to that list. At a time when England’s rotational policies are at the forefront, the growing numbers of their top players in the IPL is again in the spotlight. Reacting on the same, England head coach Chris Silverwood said it is ‘difficult’ to stop the players from participating in the IPL.
"It is very difficult to say to the players that no you can't play IPL. You can't say no if you just see the numbers. IPL is a marquee cricket event in T20 world and so it's very difficult," Silverwood said during a media conference where he was cornered on the issue of IPL gaining more precedence over Test matches.
England’s all-format players have been rotating in the longest format to stay fit. There is however nothing to suggest that the likes of Archer, Stokes or Buttler would be given a breather during the IPL. They in fact, are likely to play all matches for their respective franchises. When Silverwood was specifically asked if playing IPL became a priority as a lot of these players opted out of Big Bash League in Australia but now are skipping Test matches as a part of the rotation policy.
"I don't think it's an issue because players are playing fantastic high level of T20 cricket which can only benefit us really. Moving forward it benefits the player. Obviously, players make their own minds up about competitions (BBL, CPL, IPL) they go in but we benefit from their playing."
Silverwood, a fast bowler during his playing days accepted that he has made "peace with it". "I am totally at peace with it. Just to reiterate Test cricket remains the priority at least to me."
While the likes of Stokes, Archer, Chris Woakes have all been retained by their franchises, the likes of Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan along with 15 others will go under the hammer. Is he sad that there are talks that players could miss New Zealand Test matches in order to fulfil IPL knock-out commitments?
"One of the things that I feel is it gives the opportunity to people. It's exciting for me to see people make debuts, see people do well. As I said, I see the exciting side about it."
So will he pray that Mark Wood or Moeen Ali don't get deals at IPL auctions tomorrow? "No, I want them to do well, supportive of the decision they make really. If they are picked, it will be brilliant and I can only wish that they do well, get knowledge of conditions and improve as players," he said.
The rotation policy has been criticised especially as people are skipping Test matches for T20s, especially the multi-format men who have fat IPL contracts. Silverwood blamed it to length of stay in bio-bubble which could de-motivate any player unable to meet their families.
"Length of time during Test series means families can't come to us. So people can get to their families. Playing T20 in India with full strength squad gives us fantastic opportunity for us to learn as group and take away from that," he said keeping the T20 World Cup in mind.
(- WITH PTI INPUTS)