ECB's schedule will allow England players to take part in the IPL

ECB’s schedule will allow England players to take part in the IPL

ECB has left the window from April 3 to May 28 open for their players to take part in the IPL.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes of Rising Pune Supergiant. (Photo: IANS)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their home schedule for the 2018 season and have left a long window open for the Indian Premier League (IPL). The window should allow their players to take part in the next season of the cash rich. It is believed that many England players including the skipper Joe Root are in line to take part in the next edition of the Indian domestic T20 league.

Root has never played in the IPL but will make a decision later this year on whether to make himself available for the auction to be held in February. He will discuss his 2018 itinerary with the ECB ­after the summer ends and will have to weigh up time at home ­resting against cashing in on the IPL. Ben Stokes earned millions last season and was an integral part of his franchise Rising Pune Supergiant but more than the money, the experience he took back made him a richer cricketer.

England to play no cricket between April 3 and May 28

ECB announced their home summer for 2018 on Tuesday and confirmed that the first Test match against Pakistan will start on May 28. Also, England’s tour to New Zealand ends on April 3, which leaves them open with a significant window for the IPL. Interestingly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saves the same window for the league. So there is a good possibility that major English players will be available for the whole season next year.

By opening up the possibility for their players, ECB has put themselves in the position to ask the BCCI to allow the Indian players for the first season of England’s new Twenty20 competition in 2020. It would be interesting to see if the players like Root decide to put their names under the hammer. In the auction for the 2017 season, Stokes and Tymal Mills attracted a lot from the franchises and were the two most expensive picks.

England team director, Andrew Strauss, has been actively encouraging their players to play in foreign T20 leagues, especially in IPL. The step has reaped rich rewards for England cricket as they aim to gain white-ball experience ahead of 2019 World Cup at home.