Cricket fans may witness the English players, Joe Root and Mark Wood, in the IPL as both of them are contemplating participating in the 15th edition of the league. BCCI has asked the players to finalize the paperwork by the end of the week for the Mega Auction which will be held in Bengaluru.
England skipper Joe Root has never been picked up by any IPL franchise and hasn’t entered the auctions since going unsold in the 2018 auction. The ECB has not yet confirmed the availability of the centrally-contracted players for the 2022 edition of the tournament. And with England starting their cricketing season from June 2 against New Zealand, Root would likely be required to leave the Indian Premier League before the knockout stage of the game, if he participates in the cash-rich league.
There hasn’t been any confirmation by the England skipper regarding his decision. Root recently mentioned that he would only be interested in playing the IPL if it doesn’t detract him from his Test commitments.
"I have not made a decision on the IPL just yet. It is something I will have to keep wrestling with. Time is ticking but I have a lot to weigh up. The thing I will weigh up is: will it have a negative impact on me playing Test cricket for this team? If I don't think it will, then I will put myself in that position to play and put myself in the auction," Root said to Espncricinfo.
"But I will never compromise or do anything that will detract from playing Test cricket for England. It is so important to make sure that is the priority for me and other players as well," he added.
Root has not played in a T20I since May 2019 and his commitment towards Test and ODI cricket has limited his availability in the domestic T20 cricket. He featured in just 6 matches of the T20 Blast between 2013, 2019 and 2021. He had a decent form in 2021 edition where he scored 97 runs across 6 games for Yorkshire and Trent Rockets.
Therefore, it is interesting to wait and see if Root would get a deal or not if he goes ahead and puts his name forward for the IPL auction.
On the other hand, Mark Wood, who has represented Chennai Super Kings in 2018, withdrew his name from the 2021 auction in the very last hour saying he wants to spend time with his young family.
The overseas bowlers have been an asset for the IPL teams and got big deals during the auction in recent years. So there are chances Wood will be picked by any IPL franchise.
The English pacer revealed that participating in the IPL would be a great chance to improve as a T20 bowler ahead of the World Cup in Australia next year and it would be more important than any financial rewards in the IPL auction.
"If I look ahead to the World Cup and I can learn something in the IPL, if I can put myself in pressure situations and try and get better for the end of the year, that'll be good. We've a really good one-day team and this could be our time to really win things. That's a burning desire," said Wood.
"From a financial side of things, it's great to go in, but actually the reason is cricketing, because of what's to come with England. I just felt the reason I'd have gone last year was purely financial; this year, it would be about trying to improve and put myself in those pressure situations for later.
"We've seen the benefits to other fast bowlers. I was watching [Anrich] Nortje do well there. When we played in the T20 competition [World Cup], he looked really good because he's had that experience. If I can move my game forward that would be brilliant," he added.
Moeen Ali (Chennai Super Kings) and Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) are the two England players who have been retained by their IPL franchises ahead of the 2022 IPL auction. Many leading white-ball specialists are expected to enter the Mega Auction in Bengaluru next month.
(With IANS Inputs)