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“Players Should Not Miss International Duty To Play In The IPL” – Michael Atherton Urges ECB To Take Drastic Steps After Ashes Horror

Michael Atherton on Pat Cummins as Test captain
Photo Credit: (Sky Sports)

Former player Michael Atherton has slammed England players for their poor show in the ongoing Ashes series. He also stated that the England players shouldn’t miss international duties for the sake of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Atherton’s comments came after seeing the ongoing Ashes in Australia.

They have already lost three Tests in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne and lost the series 0-3 as well. However, the final two Test matches will take place in Sydney and Hobart with the last game being a day-night affair as well. Michael Atherton claimed that the England team management should bring some changes going forward.

“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. 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,” Michael Atherton wrote on his column in The Times.

“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 further added.

Meanwhile, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler have been retained by their respective franchises, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. They will play in the 2022 Indian Premier League as well.

Ben Stokes a viable option for England captaincy – Michael Atherton

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Credit: Twitter)

The former cricketer turned commentator also named Ben Stokes as the best contender to replace Joe Root as England’s Test captain.

“Root has been a good England captain, and has always carried himself superbly and is an incredible ambassador for the sport, but having done the job for five years and having had three cracks at the Ashes, including two awful campaigns in Australia, it is time for someone else to have a go,” he stated. 

“Ben Stokes is a viable alternative, having done an excellent job as a stand-in briefly in the summer. His bowling is starting to wind down, and, as he may not get into England’s best T20 side now, he can be given a breather during those matches,” Michael Atherton concluded. 

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