Bravo Gilo! Ashley Giles is right to set foot and demand English stars put their country above Indian Premier League wealth
- The UK director has reminded everyone who’s boss
- Players like Buttler had three major test matches in India to rest
- It is unlikely that the IPL will be completed in India due to the country’s Covid crisis
It was one of the most important moments for English cricket for quite some time. Our best players know exactly where they stand now. They will have to present their country to the millions they can earn in the Indian Premier League.
Ashley Giles could have easily misled the subject when speaking to the written media on Monday. He could have pointed out that we don’t even know if the delayed IPL will take place later this year, let alone where and when.
Instead, the director of cricket in England made it clear that centrally contracted players, including those who only have white ball deals, should be in Bangladesh and Pakistan in September – not UAE if the IPL is moved there and there is a clash with those pre-T20 World Cup tours.
Ashley Giles has made it clear that he expects centrally contracted to put their country first
Good for him. Giles has shown himself to be a decisive, sometimes ruthless figure as a coach and ever since he made the career-defining decision to join the board.
It seemed odd to us that Giles was running around the IPL for the past year, trying to deny that top English players like Jos Buttler were equipped for three important tests in India so they could play in a full IPL.
And it wasn’t right to allow those top players to miss two home tests against New Zealand next month, even if they were settled after IPL deals were struck. Now Giles has reminded everyone who’s in charge.
Players like Jos Buttler (above) were given three major test matches in India halftime
Let’s make this clear. The England players are now extremely well rewarded and well looked after. The best make over £ 1 million a year. And they are given rest times, especially in demanding Covid times. It’s not the football-like money that can be made in the IPL for two months, but it’s lucrative income.
England should always come first, just as it should have been the day Andy Flower rightly came up against Kevin Pietersen for the first time. If under normal circumstances there can also be room for an IPL window, then that’s fine.
That national team primacy would have been seriously endangered had Giles collapsed in September. A real precedent would have been set. It remains to be seen if there are any players or agents who question Giles’s position. I doubt they will. They are primarily English players and decent characters who know their wider responsibilities. In this case, they just needed a little reminder that they are ECB employees, not freelancers. Viva the King of Spain.
The Indian Premier League is unlikely to be completed in India due to the Covid crisis
It was Wisden.com who first reported Azeem Rafiq’s claims about institutionalized racism by Yorkshire last year.
Only then did the province take action and promised a full, independent investigation. Rafiq, as he noted on these pages last month, is still awaiting the outcome of that investigation. It has been suggested that those willing to speak out in support of him have not been addressed.
Yorkshire told Wisden.com last week that they will be denied access for player interviews while the investigation is ongoing. What a petty and pathetic move. Rather than shoot the messenger, Yorkshire should complete their investigation and make their results public as a matter of urgency. Otherwise, a threatening cloud will hang over the county.
Yorkshire has refused access to Wisden.com due to the controversy over Azeem Rafiq
We’ve highlighted the streaming services in the county that are revolutionizing the coverage of the big old lady of the domestic game – and Sky took it further as they moved to fill in gaps in their schedules left by the postponed IPL with Championship cricket. .
First up was the chance for Gloucestershire’s James Bracey to showcase the talent that is sure to make him a Test debut against New Zealand. Now there’s more on Sky, starting tomorrow with Glamorgan’s match against Yorkshire. It is a wonderful development and, with the Hundred to come, a timely boost for Championship cricket.
We don’t need flat stalemates
Raising bonus points for County Championship game draws to eight points this season, a move inspired by England captain Joe Root in his pursuit of more discipline in our emerging batsmen, has been credited with causing some classic four-day matches this season. But there is a catch.
Worcestershire has not won any of their five matches so far. They haven’t lost any either. Instead, with five draws, they are well-placed to finish in the top two in group one and make the first division of this year’s conference system in September. That’s fine. But the last thing we need are desperately flat places that encourage deadlocks.