Even as the BCCI mulls its options to finish off the remainder of the IPL 2021 possibly at an overseas destination, the English Cricket Board (ECB) has put its foot down in favour of international cricket, ruling out the participation of English cricketers if and when the league resumes later this year.
Addressing the British media, England men's director of cricket Ashley Giles stated that England have a jam-packed international calendar in September and October, a window the BCCI has its eye on to conduct the leftover half of the tournament, and it wouldn’t be feasible for the ECB to allow England players to feature in the IPL at the cost of the scheduled Future Tours Programme (FTP).
"We're planning on the involvement of England players in England matches. We've got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh [in September and October] are going ahead, I'd expect the players to be there," England men's director of cricket Ashley Giles informed.
While the BCCI is keen on the window in September, between the England tour and the T20 World Cup or after the T20 World Cup ends in November, the ECB wishes to adhere to the tight schedule as laid out in the (FTP).
England play New Zealand in two Tests on June 2-14 in a series that was hastily arranged and Giles said the IPL players were given the leeway to skip the Test series as an exception since their IPL contracts were already formalised.
"The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs [no objection certificates] were signed for full involvement in the IPL," he added.
"None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment; where it's going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy. We've got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we're going to have to look after our players."
England are expected to tour Bangladesh in September immediately after hosting India in a five-Test series and then they travel to Pakistan in mid-October. The T20 World Cup is next in line, scheduled to be held in October-November, after which they travel to Australia for the high-profile Ashes that begins on 8 December.
England fly to West Indies for 5 T20s and 3 Tests right after the Ashes in January which means they are tied up till the next IPL.
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