Butcher: England must see benefits of IPL


Former England batsman Mark Butcher has urged the ECB to start seeing the positives of having their players participate in the Indian Premier League, and hopes they will 'catch up' to the rest of the cricketing world.

While players like Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara are at the IPL this year, most of their top players have not been a part of it until retirement, and Butcher feels the experience gained will be invaluable for the ODI and T20 players.

Butcher told Cricinfo: "It's quite remarkable, the fervour for the game and the atmosphere and the skill level. When the IPL first began, it was more about what was happening off the field; giving the older players a bit of a pay day.

"In the last three-four years, though, the standard of cricket and the way that the game is being taken a lot more seriously and the way that the skills have been elevated to a new level has made it a wonderful combination.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that any players – whether they being young or old – will only improve by experiencing it and playing it."

England players like Alex Hales and Luke Wright have been put up for auction before, but at heavy asking prices that franchises are not prepared to pay, because most England players cannot be there for the whole event. England's Test season starts in the middle of the IPL.

He added: "At the moment, because English players initially couldn't stay for the entire duration of the tournament which meant that their price was not worth paying; people are not even looking at English players to play in the competition.

"So, that's going to change. I have no doubt about that. It will take us a little while because it always takes us a little while to catch up with things but people are now beginning to see the merits.

"If you play all your domestic cricket in one country, you do not know how cricketers do it in other countries like Bangladesh or India or South Africa. Everybody has their own different things that they bring to the table.

"What we're seeing with these players is that with them being exposed to more leagues around the world, it is no longer difficult for a New Zealander to come out and play brilliantly on slow Indian pitches.

"They know how to do it. That's the learning curve you get by being here for six weeks."