‘Ben Stokes as Captain, No More Kowtowing to IPL’: England Great’s Plan to Reboot Test Team

Ashes debacle has sent the alarm bells ringing in England cricketing circle with former stars giving their own plan to revive Test cricket in the country. The likes of Kevin Pietersen wants England and Wales Cricket Board to establish a new tournament on the lines of The Hundred while former captain Mike Atherton wants the cricket board to prioritise international duty over T20 leagues including IPL.

England are trailing 0-3 in the ongoing five-Test series with Australia retaining the Ashes. The tourists have proved no match to their counterparts suffering repeated batting collapses with captain Joe Root under fire for his tactics and calls for him to be replaced gathering pace as well.

Also Read: KP Proposes Hundred-like Red-ball Tournament to ‘Save’ Test Cricket in England

Atherton says that ECB should tell players that while they will be accommodate their league commitments, however, it wouldn’t supersede the contracts they have signed with the board.

“The leading multi-format players are paid seven-figure sums, but, incredibly, the ECB washes its hands of them for two months of the year during the Indian Premier League,” Atherton wrote in a column for The Times titled ‘The Ashes: Ben Stokes as captain, Andrew Strauss in charge, no more kowtowing to IPL – my plan to reboot Test team’.

“The players should be told that, while the ECB will be accommodating of the request to play in the IPL, a 12-month contract is exactly that, and the granting of a no-objection certificate to play in the IPL and other franchised competitions is contingent on it being in the best interests of the England team,” her added.

He further said just so that players could appear in leagues around the world, ECB shouldn’t resort to resting or rotating them. “Players should not miss international duty to play in the IPL, nor be rested and rotated to allow them to play elsewhere. The carry-on during the winter, and at the start of the English summer, should not happen again,” Atherton said.

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