England players likely to miss remainder of IPL 2021

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England players are likely to miss the remaining games of the pandemic-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 as they will have a “full Future Tours Programme” from June onwards, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed.  The IPL 2021 put on indefinite hold last week in the wake of India’s battle to the devastating second wave of the deadly virus that currently crippling the country.

“We’re planning on the involvement of England players in England matches,” Ashley Giles said. “We’ve got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh [in September and October]are going ahead, I’d expect the players to be there. Currently, there are 11 Englishman in various franchises in the suspended IPL, with 31 games still outstanding.

Reports claim that IPL organizers aim to restart the tournament by September, a month before the T20 World Cup. England are scheduled to depart for a six-match white-ball tour of Bangladesh due on 20 September and two additional Twenty20s in Pakistan on 14 and 15 October, while they will compete with Australia at the Ashes right after the T20.

“None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment, where it’s going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy,” Giles added. “We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we’re going to have to look after our players.”

Despite the hectic schedule, Giles expresses his intention to feature England players in the Hundred, which will begin on July 21 – the day after England’s men play a day-night T20I in Manchester –and runs until August 21. England’s Test series against India is scheduled to start in Nottingham on August 4. “It would be great to have our best players playing in it,” he said.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) head Sourav Ganguly admits that the remaining games of the IPL are not possible to be played in India. A group of English countries as well as Sri Lanka already expressed their intention to host the remainder of the tournament. However, Ganguly said that India would play three one-dayers and five Twenty20 Internationals in Sri Lanka in July.

Virat Kohli’s side are due to leave for England in early June for the World Test Championship final in Southampton against New Zealand before playing a five-test series against England. Earlier, Rajiv Shukla, a senior BCCI vice-president and former chairman of IPL said the tournament will still happen “in due course, when the COVID situation improves”.

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