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

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Life & Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers