Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Would England cricketers make an impression on the IPL?

So today another story has re-emerged about English players wanting to be a part of the money spinner that is the IPL. Apparently the ECB are in talks with IPL chiefs after pressure from players to negotiate a way for England's cricketers to enter into next years competition. 

This story seems to be true and there is a suggestion that the BCCI could move the competition a few weeks earlier and the first test series in England could be pushed back a bit. This would allow England's top players to be a part of the competition for a longer period, thus making them more attractive to the teams. For this reason I have looked at the players who would have a chance in the IPL and if English cricketers would make an impact on the competition. 

In theory looking at Englands past performances and the domestic T20 competition they will make a big impact in India. Over the course of international T20 competition England have been near to the top of the rankings. There are however a few signs that these players will not have as much impact on the competition.

A few England stars who have made been selected in the Indian Premier League, these have had mixed success. At the top of the list has to be Kevin Pietersen, he has established himself as one of the biggest names in the competition. In contrast to Kevin Pietersen there is Luke Wright, a player who has been in a poor Pune Warriors squad for two seasons and is yet to play. 

The players who have been selected in the past are, Pietersen, Morgan, Flintoff, Broad, Shah, Bopara, Wright, Collingwood, Lumb, Napier. Three of the players on the list have not played for their franchise, a few of them have not been re-selected and a few of are bench warmers who bring on the drinks. It is a real shame actually because England do have some good players who can make a big impression.

If you look closely at IPL teams then it is very noticeable that most teams have young relatively unknown Australians and South Africans in their squads.  The problem lies with the fact that there are many South African and Australian coaches in the IPL. This is the reason why their younger players are bought up. If England players are given a chance it is likely that they will be used in the same way as these young players from the above named countries. 

The IPL fairly keeps a quota system on foreign players, this being that only four can play at one time. This unfortunately would effect English players, the reason I say this is that most teams already have their four top players. So either they go to one of these teams and sit on the bench or go to a lower ranked team.  

Looking through England's players I believe that Bairstow, Butler, Samit Patel, James Anderson, Graham Swann, Bopara and Steven Finn could all have a positive impact on the competition. It would also develop these players further, facing top players and training with other players from different backgrounds. 

I can take Eoin Morgan as an example, he is currently back into the KKR team but this is only because the worlds best allrounder Shakib Al Hasan is injured. If Shakib was fit, I can guess that Morgan would be back onto the bench. If a player like Morgan struggles to get into a team it does not bode well for the other English players. Luke Wright in my opinion is the fifth or sixth choice foreign player in PWI, I do not really rate their captain Matthews who is somehow keeping Steve Smith out their squad, but that is a totally different issue. 

In short I believe that England players could have a massive impact on the IPL, but the reality of it is that they will not. I do not think teams will give the players a chance, they will just stock pile the good players into their squad to fill in when others get injured. English cricket will still benefit because the players will be training with world class players, but they will not get game exposure in Indian conditions. This valuable experience is being taken up by average Australians and South Africans like Aaron Finch and Ben Hilfenhouse.  

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