Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes to skip Ireland ODIs for IPL
However, skipper Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Sam Billings will return to England on May 1.
What‘s the story?
England’s all rounder trio of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes will miss the Ireland ODIs to extend their availability in the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, skipper Eoin Morgan along with the likes of Sam Billings and Jason Roy will miss the latter part of the group stages to feature in the 2-match ODI series.
While Stokes, Buttler and Woakes have been given clearance to stay in India until May 14, Morgan, Billings and Roy will return home on May 1. Meanwhile, the pace duo of Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan should be available for the entire duration of the IPL as they are predominantly seen as T20 specialists.
The move to allow three of their leading names to skip international commitments to participate in the popular T20 tournament is another step in England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) recent shift in policy to provide their players exposure to different white-ball competitions across the globe.
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After getting picked up for a mammoth INR 14.5 Crores (around USD 2.164 Million) by Rising Pune Supergiants, Stokes had insisted, “I might miss only the last group game (in IPL). I will play most of it. I will probably play the full season. I am looking forward to playing plenty of T20 cricket, something we don’t get to do as England players.”
The heart of the matter
By virtue of him breaking the bank in the 2017 Auction, Stokes became the most expensive overseas player in the history of the IPL. Including Indian stars as well, only Yuvraj Singh (picked up by Delhi Daredevils for INR 16 Crores in 2015) has fetched more money in the tournament.
Kolkata Knightriders signed Woakes for INR 4.2 Crores (around USD 626,000) while Kings XI Punjab acquired Morgan’s services for INR 2 Crores (around USD 298,000). Buttler and Billings were retained by Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils respectively.
Express pacer Tymal Mills went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 12 Crores (around USD 1.791 Million) even as Sunrisers Hyderabad procured Chris Jordan for INR 50 Lakhs (around USD 74,000).
England’s next assignment will be the 3-match ODI series against West Indies in the Caribbean from March 3 to 9. The 2017 IPL will run from April 5 to May 21. The 2 ODIs against Ireland are slated to take place on May 5 and 7. A 3-match ODI series against South Africa awaits them from May 24 to 29 before the focus turns to the Champions Trophy.
Although the 2-match ODI series at home against Ireland should present an opportunity for England to experiment a touch, they would not want to take things for granted. Hence, the decision to make skipper Morgan, openers Roy and Billings available for the series. Given the clash in scheduling between IPL and the start of their home season, ECB have tried their best to allow England’s leading players to have the best of both worlds.