Lack of opportunities in IPL could frustrate England players: Matt Prior
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior warned yesterday of the prospect of rows between players and administrators unless the England and Wales Cricket Board softened its stance towards the Indian Premier League (IPL)
However, the ECB will not allow any of their centrally-contracted England players to play longer than half a season in the IPL because of Test commitments. Such a position means many England cricketers are not considered to be attractive targets in the big-money player auction that takes place before each edition of the IPL, with Prior ‘unsold’ for the past two years.
“I know for a fact that players want to play in the IPL — you can’t get away from the fact that there is an enormous amount of money at stake,” the 30-year-old Prior told BBC Sport.
“I’m employed by the ECB, so I do what the ECB says right now. If that’s when the Test matches are, then that’s when the Test matches are. My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play,” the Sussex gloveman added.
“The one thing, however, is that the IPL and these Twenty20 competitions are not going away. People love them and the players enjoy playing in them, so there are going to be more and more people getting frustrated at the lack of opportunity to play in the IPL. So things may have to change in time.”
The sixth IPL starts on April 3 and runs to May 26, a period that includes England’s first Test at home to New Zealand starting on May 16.