Fraser: Counties must let players take IPL chance

Indian Premier League (File)
Indian Premier League (File)

London - Angus Fraser has said English counties must learn to "work around" leading players' wish to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and not deny them a "bucket list" chance to feature in the lucrative T20 tournament.

Several counties have had their plans for the upcoming first-class Championship season, which starts on Friday, disrupted as a result of late IPL call-ups.

A meeting of county cricket directors at Edgbaston on Wednesday called upon the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to tighten regulations regarding player release for IPL injury replacements.

But Middlesex director of cricket Fraser said he had no plans to stand in the way of players' IPL aspirations, with the former England seamer revealing on Thursday he would have relished the chance to feature in the franchise event.

"We've always been quite open about it: nowadays a cricketer's bucket list is Test cricket, one-day internationals, T20 - and you want to play in the IPL," Fraser said.

"I would want to play in the IPL, not just because you earn shed-loads of money, but you want to experience it at least once to say I've done that.

"And for that to be something your cricketers want to do, is fine. Yes it means we've got to work around it."

The England selector added: "For some of them it can be life-changing, but for others, if you go there for three or four years, it means that when you retire in your mid-30s you can do so and be comfortable.

"You can choose what you want to do rather than having to do something.

"So to deprive a player of that, I don't think is right. And we get reasonably well-compensated."

This week saw Yorkshire lose England one-day all-rounder David Willey to a late IPL summons from the Chennai Super Kings.

That took the number of English players involved in the IPL this season to 12 and Fraser did not shy away from the upheaval caused by cricketers leaving counties so near the start of the Championship season.

"It's hard because you can lose important cricketers, and some counties will feel a bit light because of it," said Fraser.

"We had four or five who went in the auction, none of them got selected.

"That means we haven't until injuries been prepared to go into the overseas player market, because we want to crack on with what we've got.

"But we've got three or four injuries at the start of the year. And you can lose players in all sorts of ways."

The 52-year-old Fraser, who played in 46 Tests, added: "I can understand the frustrations of some counties, and again, the conversations I've had, the coaches at these clubs are happy for the players to go.

"I suppose it just leaves them in a bit of a predicament when a winter's planning can quickly go out the window. But it can do because of an injury too."

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