BANGALORE // Steve Harmison is hoping England's players will be allowed to take part in the Indian Premier League or risk trailing behind the rest of the world. England stand on the brink of a one-day international series defeat in India after three straight losses and they have been roundly outplayed so far. The seamer Harmison has revealed the admiration of the England players for the skills displayed by their opponents, and believes they benefited massively from participation in this year's inaugural IPL Twenty20 tournament.
The England centrally-contracted players were barred from the first edition of the IPL and talks between the England board and the IPL to have the players in the second season have gone nowhere. Harmison believes though they must be allowed to cash in this time around or risk being left behind. "It is clear to me that playing in the IPL has helped them improve in vital areas and had a huge benefit on their team," he said.
"And the danger for England is that if our players are not involved in the IPL in future we could get left far behind in certain areas. The Indians have performed with Twenty20 intensity over the full 50 overs and it has been very impressive to watch. "And I don't think it is any coincidence that, as a group, we have been lacking in some of those skills and disciplines." * PA Sport