The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Ashley Giles, in a press meet on Tuesday, has stated that the centrally contracted players are likely to be unavailable for the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

The 14th season IPL was indefinitely suspended, owing to the rising cases of COVID-19 in bio-bubble. While there is no formal declaration of the rescheduling of the tournament, reports suggest that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering September window for conducting the event.

The England team will tour Bangladesh and Pakistan in September, and it is expected that the dates are likely to clash with the IPL.

“If those tours go ahead I’d expect them (players) to be there,” the England managing director told the British media.

“We’re planning on involvement of England players in England matches.”

Had the IPL proceeded according to the plan, various England players would have missed the two-match Test series against New Zealand, which begins on June 2.

“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 [no objection certificates] were signed for full involvement in the IPL,” Giles explained.

“None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment; where it’s going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy. We’ve got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we’re going to have to look after our players.”

Eoin Morgan’s men will also be touring Pakistan after a gap of 16 years. They are set to play 2 T20Is in the country on the 14th and 15th of October before flying off to India for the ICC T20 World Cup.

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, all-rounders Chris Woakes and Sam Curran are currently serving 10-day quarantine at their hotel in the United Kingdom (UK). They are likely to be released by the time England’s squad for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s is named.


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