I watched the Indian Premier League auction with interest in the last week and was delighted to see the English players being snapped up.
I heard some talk of the ECB not allowing some players to player etc, but that is not the way forward and again I am delighted to see Andrew Strauss making sure that this really isn’t an issue anymore.
I would let them all go, they all have to go – English cricket will benefit, the ones standing out now have played. The chance to play with best players in the world make it invaluable – look at Sam Billings, he went and didn’t play much -but he spent six to eight weeks with them, training with them, talking to them – in-front of 30,000 fans or so – that’s invaluable.
The same with Jos Buttler – he will get better playing with better players against better players, some people think he should try and play more county cricket to get into the England side on a regular basis, but sorry nobody can convince me playing red ball cricket at Old Trafford in front of 900 people on a cold April day is going to be better for Jos Buttler, playing for whoever, in front of 50,000 people – batting or in the field with three or four of the top players in the world.
Andrew Strauss is more open to it now than in the days of myself, Kevin Pieterson and Andrew Flintoff – it is what is best for English cricket, what is best for Joss Butler is not for me playing red ball cricket when he could be potentially be playing in the IPL – what is good for him is the balance of cricket, where is it best for him to be playing and that has to be done on an individual basis but for me it has to be in the best standard possible – it is matter less whether it is red ball or white ball, the way the game is played has changed – I don’t think Jos Buttler would play any different playing against a red ball or white ball, that is the nature of his game, being around better players can only enhance these players’ talents and that ultimately will benefit English cricket.
And going back to the IPL with the auction this week, we saw Ben Stokes go for a record price but for me the price is irrelevant, I don’t care and it isn’t Ben Stokes’s issue and that is brilliant I am chuffed to bits for him – same as football if someone pays £90million for Paul Pogba – figures are irrelevant, it is about the player and Pune have got a great player and I fully believe he will deliver.
The kid is getting better and better and being vice-captain will also help in the long-run, the IPL will only enhance him and move him up – he is going to be sharing a dressing room with Mahendra Singh Dhoni – what a great experience for him.
Tymal Mills being in demand wasn’t a shock to me either, the price tag did it a bit. I read Kevin Pieterson claims during the week and I would not say it is a kick in the teeth for test cricket, but I do agree with Kevin a little bit that it is moving to the next level and maybe it is a kick in the teeth for central contracts where the value of central contracts now has gone massively – since I played, but we are talking that players are getting the value of central contracts for just six-weeks work, so that might be an issue, it does worry me slightly and in the foreseeable future the likes of Stokes and Root will probably turn down central contracts to enable them to play in the IPL and also for England.
And yes I don’t think there is any doubt Joe Root will be playing IPL next year. It would not surprise me if he captains a franchise. He would have been there this year but I believe he wanted time off with his family and with the summer coming up and everything that has been on his plate I think that is the sensible way to do it.
It is a long trip and just for this year it is probably a good thing that he has taken stock. He has had a small child too and I can understand that myself but I firmly believe he has made the right choice, from a physical and mental point of view – he is getting good family time in before what will be a hectic 18-months to two-years at least but I have no doubt he will be in the IPL next year.