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IPL 2021: Will England players be involved upon tournament resumption?

The 2021 Indian Premier League continues to remain suspended following copious COVID bubble breaches. As of now, it is being presumed that the tournament would resume in September. However, the participation of England players back then seems doubtful.

IPL 2021: Will England players be involved upon tournament resumption?-ayh
London, First Published May 11, 2021, 10:22 AM IST

Following multiple unfortunate bubble breaches due to COVID, the cash-rich Indian Premier League 2021 remains suspended, while the tournament is presumed to resume in September. However, there seem to be apprehensions regarding the participation of the English players upon resumption. Still, it's not due to the COVID situation but for international commitments.

Earlier, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sourav Ganguly, had stated that IPL 2021 is likely to be played in either September second-half or mid-November. However, the English players would be busy at both times with international commitments, with no vacant window until March 2022.

"We're planning on the involvement of England players in England matches. We've got a full FTP schedule. So, if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh are going ahead, I'd expect the players to be there. The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs were signed for full involvement in the IPL," told Ashley Giles (England men's director of cricket), reports ESPNCricinfo.

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IPL 2021: Will England players be involved upon tournament resumption?-ayh

According to England's current Future Tour Program, it travels to Bangladesh on September 16, followed by Pakistan in mid-October. With ICC World T20 to follow the same month, even before the tournament finishes, some of the English members would fly to Australia ahead of The Ashes in December. In January, England would be off to Windies for a complete tour which gets over by March.

"We think it's probably unreasonable to expect that our players could be in bubbles all summer. We want to keep them in safe environments, obviously. But, we are really aware of the importance for these guys, their time with loved ones, families in particular. That's the balance we are trying to strike," continued Giles.

"But, we'll have to look at workloads very carefully. We've got a lot of cricket coming up, so it's a difficult juggling act, but I know the players are also looking forward to that tournament and would love to be involved at some stage if they can," he concluded.

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