England cricketer Luke Wright, who is now more into franchise T20 cricket, revealed that Sachin Tendulkar called him to play for Mumbai Indians in one of the previous seasons of IPL.
The 35-year-old was surprised and initially thought it was a prank. He then had to make a call between playing for England and IPL because of England Cricket Board's strict guidelines back then.
“I remember missing out on one of the IPLs actually. I thought it was a joke – Sachin Tendulkar rang me to go and play for the Mumbai Indians in one of the first IPLs, and I obviously thought it was the lads taking the mick," Wright told The Greatest T20 podcast.
“I remember talking to the ECB about it, and it was me and Ravi Bopara both got told that if we were to go, we would be pretty much giving up playing for England. Whereas you look now and England are paying their compensations to go and play.
"I don’t think back then they appreciated that sharing the dressing room [would be like] with, well Sachin obviously for one.
“If I had been able to have the experience with these franchises and different leagues before playing for England, which a lot of the players are doing either during or before, now, is such an advantage.”
The all-rounder later made it into IPL and played for Pune Warriors India in 2012 and 2013. The two-year stint with Pune helped Wright get better after sharing the dressing room with big names.
“When I went to Pune, you got Yuvraj [Singh], [Aaron] Finch, Angelo Mathews, [Ross] Taylor, you can reel off all these names, and you just stood there in the nets, learning how they go about it, asking questions, they’re giving you tips, and that was just huge for me as a learning curve, and you’re then playing in different conditions.
"In terms of learning, it’s the best. It’s under pressure, you’re there as an overseas player, people expect you to perform, but you are learning. I think, I became a far better player probably when I was 27, 28 because of those experiences than at times when I was playing for England.”