England batsman Jonny Bairstow on Thursday said that it is indeed difficult for the players to turn down big money that can be earned by playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). England’s squad was named for the third and fourth Test after the result of the second Test, and it was revealed that Moeen Ali will head back home. This is all a part of ECB’s rotation policy.
This rotation policy has already seen Jos Buttler going back home after the first Test. Jonny Bairstow also missed the first two Tests against India as per the rotation policy. However, former England cricketers like Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen, and Michael Vaughan have criticised this rotation policy employed by England.
“Look, I think it is part and parcel of the game. There are guys who have white-ball contracts and red-call contracts and then there are those who have both. I think guys who have white-ball format will want to go to the IPL and you cannot tell them don’t go. When it comes to resting, if you are asking people to be away from home from Jan 2-March 29 and to be in bubbles, at some point, people are going to need rest, that’s where the coaching staff has decided to give players rest,” said Bairstow during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“Mentally, we have to stay as fresh as we can. We have been staying in hotels and we cannot leave, it is taxing and it is about staying fresh to produce the best on the pitch. When you are talking about the kind of money the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Chris Morris have got, it is hard to turn it down, it can be hard for anybody to turn it down. I do not believe there are any priorities, if you look at our away record, we have won six of our last seven Tests away from home, these results do not come by prioritising one format of the game,” he added.
In the ongoing IPL players’ auction, Chris Morris became the most expensive foreign player in the history as he bought for Rs 16.25 crore by Rajasthan Royals. New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 15 crore.
“It is difficult, I lost my red-ball contract last year. As you said, I wanted to play Test cricket, I went to Sri Lanka to play the Test matches and I did not turn up for Big Bash League. That’s the nature of the sport at the moment, there is a reason I went to Sri Lanka and I am here in India to play Test cricket,” said Bairstow.
When probed about whether he would leave IPL playoffs for the New Zealand Tests, Bairstow said: “I do not know the dates of the IPL playoffs and I do not know the dates of New Zealand Test matches, so cannot say anything at this moment. I am lucky enough to be playing all three formats of the game.”
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