Following the postponement of their short white ball away series against Bangladesh in September, England players are set to be allowed to participate in the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. It has been learned that the series will now be played early next year, giving English players like Jos Buttler, a fit-again Jofra Archer, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, and Tom Curran the opportunity to represent their respective IPL franchises. On September 19, the IPL returns to the UAE.
“We were in discussions with the ECB about the availability of their players for the IPL. We haven’t yet received official confirmation, but we believe the chances are very good,” a senior BCCI official told news agency PTI on condition of anonymity.
In fact, the UK newspaper ‘Telegraph’ reported that “England had been due to tour Bangladesh for three ODI and three T20 Internationals, which would have clashed with the IPL and entailed leaving England a matter of days after the Test series with India ended on September 14.”
It is believed that England’s IPL stars will take the same charter flight from Manchester to Dubai for their bubble-to-bubble transfer. The IPL has 31 matches remaining after being postponed in early May due to multiple cases of COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble.
There is no doubt that the 50-over World Champions, in their bid to reclaim the ICC T20 World Cup, which they won in the West Indies in 2010, would ideally want their players to get the best preparation in the same venue where the marquee event will be held following the IPL.
However, the only issue could be mental health, which could result in a few pull-outs, such as Livingstone, who was a member of England’s white ball team but opted out of the IPL due to bubble fatigue.
In fact, star all-rounder Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the India Test series in order to care for his “mental well-being.”
If Stokes believes he is ready for the rigours of competitive cricket by September, he could suit up for the Rajasthan Royals.