The Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, scheduled to take shape in Bengaluru next month, is inching closer and a number of names will go under the hammer from India along with a mix of international cricketers. England ODI skipper Eoin Morgan has now confirmed that there will be a number of English players available for the auction.
In previous instances of the IPL auction, there were not many England players available, which led to less number of English cricketers participating in the annual competition. That could change in the tenth edition of IPL.
With a number of England players set to be made available for the IPL auction, it remains to be seen which players the franchises will pick. Morgan hopes those players picked will be selected in the playing XI, which will give England players a chance to improve in their respective skills.
"Yes, I do and a lot of them will be available for the auction this year. Hopefully, they will be picked up and playing the majority of the games. That's the best case scenario," Press Trust of India quoted Morgan as saying.
"It's with our skill level. The belief is there, character is there, talent is there - it's reproducing your skill level. As I mentioned, India are a tough side to beat at home. You need to have skill level. The guys playing the IPL I believe will set them up," he added.
At present, only two players Jos Buttler and Sam Billings will be playing in IPL 2017 as they were retained by Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils respectively. Unfortunately other English cricketers such as Morgan (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Kevin Pietersen (Rising Pune Supergianst) and Chris Jordan (RCB) were released by their franchises.
All the released players can enter the auction. Other players like Jason Roy and Ben Stokes have confirmed their participation for IPL 2017 auction.
However, franchises will think more than once before picking England players in the IPL as their participation for the entire competition has not been confirmed. There is no official word, but reports suggest that Morgan may be called back for international duty as England host Ireland for a two-match ODI series on May 5 and 7. Other players may be allowed to ply their trade in IPL even when the England-Ireland series is on.