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'Playing IPL is better preparation than playing T20 game against Pakistan'

Source: PTI
May 26, 2024 16:30 IST
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IMAGE: The England players missed the IPL playoffs, heading back for their T20I series against Pakistan. Photograph: BCCI

Former skipper Michael Vaughan feels England "missed the trick" by recalling its cricketers from the IPL to play a T20 series against Pakistan, saying it had denied them experiencing pressure-cooker situations of the playoffs, which could have helped them prepare better for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Americas.


Top England players, including skipper Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), Phil Salt (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Will Jacks (Royal Challengers Bengaluru) were among the players called back home by the England and Wales Cricket Board for a four-match T20I series against Pakistan, leading to severe criticism from several former Indian cricketers including the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.

‘England missed the trick’

In fact, it was skipper Buttler who had pushed for players to get back in the English camp from the IPL to prepare for the T20 World Cup with the series against Pakistan, director of cricket Rob Key had earlier revealed.

"I'm all for international cricket, but now and again this tournament (IPL) in particular is so exposed to pressure, and these players under a huge amount of pressure from fans, owners (and) social media, it's massive," said Vaughan on a Club Prairie Fire podcast.

"They (ECB) have missed the trick by sending all their players home. Will Jacks, Phil Salt, (and) Jos Buttler in particular, playing in the IPL in the Eliminations pressure, crowd expectation, I would argue that playing here (IPL) is better preparation than playing a T20 game against Pakistan," Vaughan opined.

The first match of the bilateral white-ball series in Headingley was washed out on May 22, while England won the second match against Babar Azam's side by 23 runs on Saturday.

Vaughan felt that Salt and Jack, in particular, could have got valuable lessons in handling pressure, which would have served them better in the T20 World Cup beginning on June 2 in the West Indies and USA.

"I just felt particularly those two (Salt and Jacks) and Buttler probably not as much, but I still think he could have stayed here. But Will Jacks and Phil Salt, they would have been better prepared (for T20 WC) staying here playing in the IPL than going back to Headingley to play a game.

‘Not disrespecting Pakistan’

Vaughan said he was not "disrespecting" either Pakistan or England with his views but just stating that the standard of IPL is probably "better".

"This tournament (IPL) is so pressurised and the skill levels are so high, you could argue and I'm not disrespecting Pakistan or the England side... they haven't been playing lot of T20 together. But I would say the standard here (IPL) would possibly be better than the game that we're gonna at Headingley (May 22).

Missed opportunity: Gilchrist

Australian great Adam Gilchrist too felt England players had missed a big opportunity to play in the business end of the IPL.

"I'm sure there's a number of players that could have fulfilled those obligations in the international setup (vs Pakistan) there, but the guys that were actively involved in the IPL in the finals period (Buttler, Salt and Jacks), yeah, I think that's a missed opportunity, too. Spot on (Vaughan)," said Gilchrist.

"What you're walking out into, what you're learning from, all the various aspects that the glare and the focus and the microscope on you because that's going to prepare you for what they would hope (in T20 World Cup). Every nation hopes to be playing in a World Cup final eventually," he added.

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