Strauss wants England players in the IPL


England director of cricket Andrew Strauss feels that his players should be able to take part in the Indian Premier League, and that the experience gathered there will be vital to their short format success.

England have traditionally not allowed many of their players an easy route to the IPL, something former batsman Kevin Pietersen fought with the ECB over for years. But they've had a change of heart.

Strauss feels that other countries who have players in the IPL and other T20 leagues are at a great advantage in the shorter formats, and feels that this lack of exposure is why England struggle.

Strauss said: "The great thing about going to those tournaments is that you go as an overseas player, so you're under pressure to perform and win games of cricket. That's exactly what we want our players to do.

"Thirty-eight of the 44 players involved in the semi-finals of the World Cup had IPL experience. We should seek further opportunities to get our guys in there.

"We can never be arrogant and just assume that Test cricket will stay forever. We all have a responsibility to try to help the game of cricket grow.

"The people that are focused and in charge of that are the ICC, and they have to make sure they give Test cricket the best possible chance."

Strauss said that it would need to be carefully managed, with players like Joe Root, who plays in all formats for England, likely needing to rest, but said that he was open to players becoming specialists in certain formats.

He added of fringe players getting the all-clear: "I don't think you are saying that for the rest of your career you will be viewed only as a white-ball specialist.

"What you're saying is, 'We see you playing a very full role in white-ball cricket, and at the moment, you're not one of those guys that is fundamental to both forms of the game. Therefore, focus on getting better in white-ball cricket'.

"We all know how hard the international schedule is for people who play all forms of the game. It is unbelievably difficult, and at times they are going to need resting.

"If someone is a white-ball specialist and his focus is on white ball cricket, then it is an easy decision to make. If someone is in the Test team or very close, that's a harder decision.

"But let's be honest: we're not going to make massive strides in white-ball cricket without making some hard decisions along the way."