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How England’s shocking World Cup campaign could affect the IPL auction

Given how England performed at the World Cup, it is unlikely that many players will generate anything close to Sam Curran's record bid

England’s shocking Cricket World Cup campaign is likely to have a knock-on effect when the Indian Premier League auction takes place in Dubai on Tuesday.

Last year, English players, fresh from the national team winning the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, were in high demand, with Sam Curran landing the biggest-ever IPL deal of £1.85m and Harry Brook (£1.3m) and Ben Stokes (£1.6m) also landing bumper deals.

This year, the big money is likely to be spent on the stars of the 50-over World Cup that took place in India in October and November, namely young New Zealand all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, plus Travis Head and Mitchell Starc, who were both instrumental in Australia winning the tournament.

Given England tanked after losing six games in the first round, it is unlikely that many of the squad who underperformed so badly will generate big bids for the 2024 IPL.

Brook, released by Sunrisers Hyderabad after a disappointing debut IPL campaign, and Adil Rashid, England’s standout bowler in India, have the best chance of being signed up.

Of those players who didn’t make the World Cup squad, Phil Salt, fresh from his first international century in England’s T20 win against the West Indies in Grenada last Saturday, Ben Duckett, Tymal Mills and Olly Stone have the best chance of landing a deal.

But with just 30 overseas slots available in the auction and 24 Englishmen out of 119 overseas players overall, it could be a disappointing day for the likes of Chris Woakes, David Willey, Gus Atkinson, Brydon Carse and Sam Billings.

High-profile Englishmen retained by their IPL franchises include Curran, white-ball captain Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Reece Topley and Will Jacks.

However, several big names will not be in the auction, including Stokes, Joe Root, Jofra Archer and Rehan Ahmed, who have all pulled out over workload concerns.

Ahmed, the teenage leg-spinner whose promising start to his international career is continuing on England’s current tour of the Caribbean, would have been an intriguing option for many teams in the auction. However, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pulled him out citing concerns about him spending too much time away from home at such a young age.

Ahmed was last week named in the squad for England’s Test tour of India that takes place between January and March and is likely to also be part of next summer’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA. And having signed his first England central contract in October, the ECB reserve the right to decide what franchise tournaments he plays in.

The ECB have indicated England’s players in the IPL will be available for the whole tournament, which is likely to run from 22 March until late May.

Englishmen for sale

Player nameBase price

  • Harry Brook – £210,000
  • Chris Woakes – £210,000
  • Adil Rashid – £210,000
  • James Vince – £210,000
  • Jamie Overton – £210,000
  • David Willey – £210,000
  • Ben Duckett – £210,000
  • Phil Salt – £157,000
  • Tom Curran – £157,000
  • Chris Jordan – £157,000
  • Tymal Mills – £157,000
  • Sam Billings – £105,000
  • Gus Atkinson – £105,000
  • Olly Stone – £78,000
  • Ollie Robinson – £78,000
  • Sam Hain – £58,000
  • Brydon Carse – £58,000
  • George Garton – £58,000
  • Richard Gleeson – £58,000
  • George Scrimshaw – £58,000
  • Luke Wood – £58,000
  • Tom Kohler-Cadmore – £42,000
  • Benny Howell – £42,000
  • Chris Wood – £21,000

Yet Rob Key, England’s managing director of men’s cricket, has said centrally-contracted stars will be judged on a case-by-case basis and pulled out of the IPL early if needs be.

Given the fact England were criticised for a lack of preparation before this year’s ODI World Cup, it seems inconceivable that those players named in the squad for next summer’s T20 World Cup will be allowed to miss the four-match home series against Pakistan that is the only preparation the team will have before heading out to the Caribbean in early June.

With the end of the IPL likely to overlap with that Pakistan series, some franchises may be reluctant to offer deals to those players likely to be in England’s squad.

Add in the devaluation of England’s white-ball reputation following that World Cup campaign in India and subsequent travails in the West Indies, where they lost an ODI series 2-1 and are currently 2-1 down in the T20 leg of that tour with two to play, and it seems many of the 24 English cricketers will be disappointed by the end of Tuesday’s auction.

That would not necessarily be a bad thing given the potential clash between the end of the IPL and that T20 series against Pakistan in May. Yet for those players up for auction, the allure of winning a potentially life-changing contract remains.

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