x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

ECB caught up in the heat of the moment over IPL players

After five years of trying to wish it away, the England and Wales Cricket Board finally seem to have realised that the Indian Premier League isn't going anywhere.

After five years of trying to wish it away, the England and Wales Cricket Board finally seem to have realised that the Indian Premier League isn't going anywhere.

Their own contracted players are unhappy about being denied the riches on offer to journeymen pros from Australia and South Africa, and they've been left with no option but to appeal to India to try and rework the schedule.

"We have had very fruitful talks with India," said David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, earlier this week. "In an ideal world, we would like the IPL to be concluded by April 30, which is the cooler season for India. We have put that to them, they are doing their best, but they realise there are some limitations."

Only the utterly naive would believe that the ECB are motivated by concern for the players' health in furnace-like Indian summer heat.

Being available for the full season would make English players more appealing - right now, no one wants to invest in someone who will miss the key matches - and ensure the ECB do not have to make their own central contracts more lucrative to appease those missing out on cricket's biggest pay day.

"It [rescheduling of IPL] would make things a lot easier for us," said Collier. "We still have to get the workload balance right, but it would make it a lot easier for our players to be available for that period and certainly the BCCI are fully aware of that."

For over a decade, India have played Test cricket in March and even the first week of April. For them, heat or no heat, shortening the season isn't an option.

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