England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is confident that its star players will be available for their tour of Pakistan despite a possible clash with the remainder of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The IPL was suspended indefinitely last week after an outbreak of COVID-19 within various franchises and the dire situation in India due to the virus. On average, more than 350,000 people are contracting the virus daily, while the overall number of positive cases in the country has almost reached 23 million.
The Indian authorities are looking at a number of possibilities to resume the suspended tournament, with September-October seen as a possible window for the tournament. According to rumors, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wants the tournament to be concluded before the start of the T20 World Cup, tentatively scheduled to be held in October-November, in India.
During the timeframe, Pakistan are set to host England in a historic two-match T20I series. England will be touring the country after a gap of 16 years. ECB’s Managing Director, Ashley Giles, has said that England’s key players will be available to visit Pakistan on the historic tour.
He said, “If those tours go ahead I’d expect them (players) to be there. We’re planning on the involvement of England players in England matches.”
Previously, Giles had stated that star English players are likely to miss the two-match Test series between England and New Zealand, starting from 2 June, due to their involvement in IPL.
He then went onto clarify the situation of English players under contract with IPL, saying, “The New Zealand scenario was very different, those matches were formalized at the end of January, by which time contracts were signed for players to have full involvement in the IPL.”
Giles revealed that England will look to include a larger pool of players this summer and every deserving player will get a chance in the national team.