On the Front Foot: Ashes heroes sulk at IPL treatment

Since the Indian Premier League began three years ago it has been big trouble for England. It is showing scant signs of abating and may overshadow the World Cup on the sub-continent which starts in a fortnight.

Several of England's players are miffed, some because they feel they are not being paid enough of the big money on offer in the IPL, others because they have not been signed at all. There are two main causes of their displeasure.

First, many of the players cannot be available for the duration of the IPL because they have contracts with the England and Wales Cricket Board, or in some cases with counties, which they must observe. Secondly, relations between the ECB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which runs the IPL, continue to be extremely strained.

This meant that when the auction of overseas players was held last month, English stars were by and large overlooked. It is an issue that, more than ever, will not go away and with which the Professional Cricketers' Association may have to become yet more involved.

This year's fourth version of the IPL will start immediately after the World Cup. It is increasingly a tinpot tournament, awash with money, but where the cricket is often of low quality.

Players openly talk of playing hard in all senses of the phrase and of the party atmosphere surrounding the entity.

It is sport, if not as we know it. But slogging your way round Australia competing in perpetually high octane cricket for an admittedly lucrative £250,000 a year and then playing popcorn stuff for upwards of £500,000 over six weeks may yet breed legions of popcorn cricketers.

Stanford shame

One of the creepy ways in which England tried to avoid IPL trouble, of course, was to climb into bed with Sir Allen Stanford. The ECB signed a five year deal with the American billionaire which effectively entailed hiring out the England team. This ended when Sir Al was charged with money laundering offences for which he was recently found unfit to stand trial.

He continues to haunt the ECB mandarins, however. Lawyers for his creditors in the USA said last week that they may try to reclaim the $3.5m he paid to the ECB before the contract ended with Stanford's arrest. Doubtless the ECB would find the money because it has contingency funds.

But it merely prolongs administrators' embarrassment and recalls yet again the crassness of the welcome given to Stanford when he arrived at Lord's in a helicopter carrying $20m in notes. He was greeted as if he was cricket's pontiff.

The following day, not 100 yards from where Stanford landed with his ill-gotten money, a truly great man, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, gave the annual Spirit of Cricket Lecture. The juxtaposition should forever pray on certain minds.

Hot to Trott

Nobody can now doubt the authenticity of Jonathan Trott as an international cricketer. (Whether he should be an England international cricketer - and one warms to him increasingly - is another matter).

After 17 innings as a one-day player he has scored more runs (844) than any other batsman, ahead of Kevin Pietersen, his fellow South African Englishman (804) and Viv Richards (798). Trott has two innings to reach 1000 more quickly.

And in Tests, Trott has scored 1600 runs in his 30 innings so far, behind only Herbert Sutcliffe (1904) and Wally Hammond (1697) but ahead of another legend, now in fourth place, Jack Hobbs (1558).

Plunkett tops up air miles

Liam Plunkett seemed to take in his stride the journey which brought him to Perth to join England from St Kitts in the Caribbean where he was with the England Lions. He is a regular Atlantic commuter and he and his American girlfriend have bought a house in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick