The disappointment among English cricketers, unable to participate in the full season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) year after year due to the overlapping English summer, has forced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to urge the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reschedule the world’s richest cricket league.
Speaking to The Times, David Collier, the chief executive of the ECB, said that he had conversations with officials from India, Australia and South Africa to explore the possibilities of finding the right balance between a series of domestic Twenty20 leagues and international cricket.
“We have had very fruitful talks with India. In an ideal world, we would like the IPL to be concluded by April 30, which is the cooler season for India,” Collier said. “We have put that to them, they are doing their best, but they realise there are some limitations.”
This year the IPL ends on May 26 while England’s international commitments at home begin with the first Test match against New Zealand at Lord’s on May 16. Last year, Kevin Pietersen had to part with Delhi Daredevils half-way through IPL because of the series against West Indies.
The Professional Cricketers’ Association’s incessant pressure on the ECB to substantially hike the value of central contracts for England cricketers to make up for the opportunity loss has forced ECB to explore alternative avenues to settle the matter without having to re-negotiate the contracts.
“It (rescheduling of IPL) would make things a lot easier for us. We still have to get the workload balance right, but it would make it a lot easier for our players to be available for that period and certainly the BCCI are fully aware of that. There is a willingness on the part of both boards to see if we can make any progress,” said Collier.
However, things may not come to pass for the BCCI and ECB at least for the next few years. In 2014, the World T20 in Bangladesh will finish on April 6 and the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 is likely to finish only in the last week of March. In 2016, the World Twenty20 in India might go on till mid-April.