Few English players barred from IPL selection
The England Cricket Board has always had a restrictive approach towards the IPL and is not too contented having their players participating in the money-spinning league. This time however, it is one of the county sides that has restricted its players from involvement.
Alex Hales, has been one of the top performers in the two T20s that were played against India in the series following the Tests that ended 2-1 in favour of England – he scored 56 off 35 in Pune, while in Mumbai, in the second T20, he scored a swift 42 in 33. He, together with Nottinghamshire teammate Michael Lumb and Eoin Morgan were instrumental in squaring the series, where India took the first of the two games, but has been blocked by his county from participating in the cash-rich IPL. Hales is the highest run-scorer in T20s for England in 2012, having scored 301 runs at an average of 37 with a strike-rate of 138.
Although Hales has signed up for the Bangladesh Premier League on Friday, he will not be allowed to participate in the lucrative Indian Premier League auctions to be held in February. The 23-year-old was informed by his agent that Nottinghamshire did not want him participating in the IPL as their County Championship campaign is due to start a week after the start of the IPL. The Notts have also barred their other T20 stars Michael Lumb and Samit Patel to participate in the IPL for the same reasons.
Alex Hales however, is quite comfortable missing out on the IPL and concentrating on county cricket and his ambition to make it large for England and Nottinghamshire. “I’m not in the IPL auction. I wasn’t allowed by my club to go into it,” said Hales. “That’s fine; it means I can prepare for the county season as well, which is a big part of the game. I am not too fussed about it. The four-day game is important and I really want to do well for Notts this year.”
Hales, who is not a part of the ODI team to take on India in January wants to be a part of the England squad in all three formats. “My long-term aim is to play all three forms for England,” he said. “Obviously I’m some way from that, but I have a lot of ambition and if that means putting in the hard yards with T20 going into the one-dayers then so be it. I hope to be on the Lions trip to Australia.”
As for the IPL, Hales added: “I think at my age it’s not something I need to think about – I still have ambitions in the longer form. But if it doesn’t happen that way, maybe in a few years … Every time I put on an England shirt I want to perform and put myself in the shop window.”
“We were very clear that we expected all of our players to be available to us as we would be severely weakened if we were to lose them for that period of time at that stage of the season,” Club Director, Mick Newell said.
Nottinghamshire is one of the first English counties to have deprived their players of IPL contracts and for valid reasons. Other counties that have players who could potentially be picked to play in the IPL like Somerset – who have Jos Buttler and Craig Keiswetter, may go down the same path. Kevin Pietersen however, continues to be available for the IPL season and will continue his campaign with the Delhi Daredevils.