London, March 9
Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has urged England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to dock money from players who prioritise Indian Premier League over national duty.
However what Boycott missed out in his column for the Daily Telegraph is that enlisted players in the IPL need to pay 10 per cent of their salaries to their respective boards.
Last week, England head coach Chris Silverwood confirmed that IPL-bound England players would be available for the entire tournament, which means those involved in the final stages of the cash-rich league are most likely to miss the opening Test against New Zealand.
“All these players made their names playing international cricket with England and are well paid, rightly so. Nobody begrudges them rich rewards,” Boycott wrote in the ‘Daily Telegraph’.
“Players seem to forget the IPL would not come calling for them if they had not performed for England first. So they owe a debt of gratitude and loyalty to put England first.
“I would never stop them from earning that but not by missing games for England to do it,” he added.
Claiming that the board is treating the players in a “namby-pamby way”, the former opener slammed the much-debated rotational policy.
“England messed up with a rotation policy in India and must stop treating players in a namby-pamby way.
“If players want to go home for a break from England duty, dock their money. Better still don’t select them unless they can agree to be available for a whole series,” he wrote.
Boycott said if a cricketer was facing mental health issues or is unable to handle the bubble he should be given the option to go home. However, the 80-year-old feels that none of the English players would miss IPL matches due to fatigue.
“Let’s be clear any player who suffers from mental health issues or cannot handle the bubble has to be released to go home. No problem with that.
“But I bet you will not see any of our players leaving the IPL because they miss their wife, girlfriend or kids.”
The IPL is slated to begin from April 9 with the final scheduled to be played on May 30, while the opening Test against New Zealand begins on June 2.
Seven English players, who were part of the Test series against Sri Lanka and India, including Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes and Sam Curran, are slated to play in the league. PTI