DON TOPLEY: It proved a mixed bag for England’s cricketers in the IPL
- Credit: AP
This weekend will see the conclusion of the 2017 Indian Premier League and it is great to see some of our own cricketers have had the opportunity to participate.
Of course the money can be good, but it is the opportunity to play with the ‘world’s best’ in front of packed grounds and in front of millions of people - under such pressure and scrutiny - which will assist any player’s development. Each TV game gets more than 30 million people watching it – the players do become immediate household names in a country simply crazy for cricket.
So how did our boys do?
BEN STOKES: Was the most impressive Englishman who stood up to his huge £1.6m price tag. He was instrumental to his Pune Supergiants success, the team making it through to the play-offs - he contributed with bat, ball and in the field. Sadly, for Pune, he has had to miss out on the business end to come home to join up with Team England, but what a time he has had. The Indians cannot get enough of Ben Stokes.
CHRIS WOAKES: Has enjoyed a huge impact with the Kolkata Knight Riders and made some serious income. He too has had to come home and, like Stokes, will be sorely missed by his IPL team.
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The other six Englishmen have not made the impact that they would have wanted nor received anywhere near their full auction price tags, except for Jos Buttler.
JOS BUTTLER: He started well for Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians but felt disappointed with his overall return as he opened the batting in all but one of the games. His team made it through to the eliminators but, like Stokes and Woakes, Buttler has had to return home.
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SAM BILLINGS: HE started in the first six Delhi Daredevils matches but lost his spot and never kept wicket.
EOIN MORGAN: Only played five matches for Kings XI Punjab. He is one of a few that has been criticised by Virendar Sehwag for not taking responsibility this IPL.
JASON ROY: Roy joined Gujarat Lions with three other opening batsmen – it was a crazy selection at the IPL auction. He played in the first three games but got replaced for an all-rounder who opens the batting. Knowing Jason, he would have found the travel and being purely a squad member challenging and therefore came home early.
TYMAL MILLS: Mills, who has scared many a club batsman in Suffolk and Norfolk, only played five of the 14 matches and was personally recommended by the Indian captain, Virat Kohli. I am not sure he stood up to his £1.3m price tag and was unfortunately injured for a chunk of the IPL. His Royal Challengers Bangalore despite having AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle and Kohli had a ‘shocker’ of a tournament.
CHRIS JORDAN: He is widely well known for his end of innings bowling while his new ball overs are not as good and often underwhelming. He has travelled everywhere with his team, Sunrisers Hyderabad and finally got a game this week, bowling just a solitary over.
County Coaches in the UK would have asked if Morgan, Billings, Roy and Jordan would have been better suited playing for their respective counties - I only hope training with the world’s best and picking the brains of the world’s best will have improved their game.
Financially, those four players, together with Mills, would not have received their full auction price. I believe they only earn their auction tag should they play a full quota of games. If not selected then a much-reduced fee is paid.
When you take into consideration the higher Income Tax at 40%, a further 10%, 15% or 20% paid to their respective agents and then, they also must return 1% of their English salary each day they are away to their English county, one can see the IPL is not as lucrative as many people suggest... Oh except for Stokes and Woakes.
I would love to be in the England dressing room next week as they take on South Africa, not only will the conversations be of interest but their team mates might even get a free curry one evening – although Stokes and Woakes might be sick of curries!