England players agree three-week IPL deal

England’s leading players will head into a Test summer without first-class practice after a deal was brokered on their central contracts. 

England’s leading players will head into a Test summer without first-class practice after a deal was brokered on their central contracts.

The dozen men under England and Wales Cricket Board control have finally signed their 12-month deals, which stipulate a 21-day window of opportunity to play in the Indian Premier League.

That period of time appears to have satisfied all parties with Lalit Modi, the IPL’s kingpin, speaking positively today about the possibility of Englishmen joining the second season of the competition after initially turning down a 15-day proposal.

The three-week spell for Test players will begin in April, shortly after the conclusion of the current Caribbean tour.

 “Contracts have been signed by the players and we are waiting on the IPL to come back with confirmation,” said Paul Collingwood, on the first full day of England’s 11-week trip. “From our point of view, the IPL is exciting.”

However, the compromise comes at a cost: the ECB have sanctioned half the first-choice team entering the first Test against West Indies at Lord’s on May 7 without any County Championship action behind them.

The 21-day agreement means those who are snapped up by IPL franchises will not be available for the round of Championship matches ending on May 1 and 2.

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