It is no rocket science. International cricketers love playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as it not only helps them gain lucrative contracts but also assists them in their understanding of Indian conditions. The English players, in the past, have been been available for the entire tournament, making the franchises think twice before picking them in the auction. The same is set to happen in 2017.
With the IPL 2017 auction set to take place in Bengaluru in February, it is unclear if the English players will be available for the entire tournament, which could hamper their participation in the cash-rich league. The competition will be played in April and May, though the official fixtures are yet to be announced.
England players could be available for the full month of April, but one is not clear regarding their participation in May. England host Ireland for two ODIs early May, and will later be followed by South Africa series. The availability (duration) of English players in the IPL will be taken up by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), but as of now, they are yet to finalise their decision.
One of the main concerns might be the availability of Eoin Morgan, England ODI skipper, who has been released by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the reigning champions. Morgan is an experienced IPL campaigner as he has also featured for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. Some IPL teams will be keen to get such a skilled limited-overs player during the IPL 2017 auction.
However, it remains to be seen if the ECB will allow Morgan to play in the IPL or ask him to lead the side in the ODI series against Ireland.
"The ECB will tell players how long they can stay at the IPL. We haven't seen what date that will be yet. The last time England played Ireland, there was a different captain, but I'm not sure what the plan is this time around," mirror.co.uk quoted England selector Mick Newell as saying.
"Eoin has done a good job and the fact he hasn't played much red-ball cricket has allowed the team to have that focus on the importance of white-ball cricket and the players have responded well to him."
Besides Morgan, English players like Ben Stokes, Alex Hales and Jason Roy are expected to be part of the IPL 2017 auction.