“If you cut salaries, will it affect anything if your team doesn’t win?” – Akram reacts to Gavaskar on England players' absence for IPL 2024 playoffs 

Pakistan v England - 4th IT20
Wasim Akram lashed out at ECB for non-availabilty of players for IPL 2024 playoffs [Getty Images]

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram was disappointed with England players missing the IPL 2024 playoffs. Unlike Sunil Gavaskar, Akram believes that cutting salaries as punishment won’t solve the issue.

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that the players should only be allowed to participate if they are available for all games regardless of any T20 league whether it's IPL, Pakistan Super League (PSL), or Big Bash League (BBL).

Akram further lashed out at the England Cricket Board (ECB) for not giving full NOC to its players. He told Sportskeeda’s Match Ki Baat:

“If you cut salaries, will it affect anything if your team doesn’t win after reaching the playoffs? You’ve put in all the hard work and in the last huddle, your boys leave because they have to play for the country. It’s not fair.”

Akram continued:

“This is what you play for. That’s why it's frustrating not just for fans but owners, and captains of the teams for any league. So, I agree with Irfan [Pathan], come for the entire tournament otherwise don’t come.”

Pathan recently wrote on X (formerly Twitter):

“Either be available for full season or don’t come!”

Meanwhile, Gavaskar recently took a veiled dig at ECB asking for a penalty. He wrote in his recent column for Mid-Day:

“I am all for players choosing country before anything else but having assured various franchises about their availability for the full season, if they pull out now, it will be letting down the franchises which probably pay them more money in one IPL season which they don’t earn in a few seasons with their country.”

He continued:

“The franchises should not only be allowed to deduct a substantial amount from the fee that the player was bought for, but also not give the Board, to which the player belongs, the stated 10 percent commission of the fee that each player gets.
“If the Board has gone back on its assurance they need to be penalised too.”

List of England players unavailable for playoffs:

Rajasthan Royals - Jos Buttler

Kolkata Knight Riders - Phil Salt

Royal Challengers Bengaluru - Will Jacks, Reece Topley

Sunrisers Hyderabad - No English players

“That will give them the extra boost” – Wasim Akram picks SRH as strong contender for IPL 2024

Wasim Akram, meanwhile, picked Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as a big contender for the IPL 2024 title. They said that the availability of all players makes them a strong team. He said:

“Luckily, SRH didn’t pick England players. They are definitely one of the contenders. The way their playing XI is and the manner in which they play. They have all the players, so that will give them the extra boost.”

SRH finished second in the IPL 2024 points table and will face Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 1 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 21.

On the contrary, Akram feels that the absence of Jos Buttler could affect the Rajasthan Royals's chances in playoffs as he smashed two match-winning centuries against Royal Challengers Bengaluru and KKR this season. He said:

“They [Rajasthan Royals] might struggle. There will be a huge difference after Jos Buttler’s departure. It will be both in the playing XI as well as psychological. I hope they overcome it. If they don’t, they won’t win the trophy. So, it’s a do-or-die for them.”

RR will lock horns with RCB in IPL 2024 Eliminator in Ahmedabad on May 22.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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