Yorkshire CCC chief now takes positive approach to Indian Premier League

YORKSHIRE’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon has said that he has learned to embrace the positives of the Indian Premier League instead of perceiving it as a negative that takes away the club’s best players.
Martyn Moxon: New stance. Picture: SWPixMartyn Moxon: New stance. Picture: SWPix
Martyn Moxon: New stance. Picture: SWPix

Moxon said that he had undergone an attitude shift having previously perceived the competition in an unfavourable fashion.

Yorkshire have lost several players to the IPL in recent years and they will be without Dawid Malan one of their best batsmen, for up to the first eight games of the 14-match County Championship programme due to his involvement with Kings XI Punjab.

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In 2018, Moxon even called for an IPL cut-off date when Yorkshire lost David Willey and Liam Plunkett on the eve of that season as late injury replacements for the T20 tournament.

However, Moxon has experienced if not quite a Damascene conversion then certainly a pragmatic change of heart as he told The Yorkshire Post: “You can have a very negative view about it (IPL) or you could have a positive view about it. It depends which side you take, I suppose.

“I think initially I would be on the negative side when it first started to happen. You felt aggrieved that your best players were being taken out of important games for you at county level. But now I’m looking at it from the positive side, and I think that’s the way we have to look at it from the glass half-full rather than the glass half-empty.

“I have changed from being openly quite frustrated and negative about it to now saying well, let’s look at the positives because it’s going to happen, so let’s try and get as much out of it as we can.

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“Dawid is certainly someone who will come back from it and share experience and knowledge, which can only help our own players.

“He will come back from IPL with even more knowledge and experience to pass on to the likes of Harry Brook, Will Fraine, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, and so on, our next generation, if you like, of batters. He will be able to help even more. That’s the way we’re looking at it.”

Moxon accepts that the IPL, which started in 2008, is now a fact of life, especially with the vast sums of money involved.

Most counties take a pragmatic attitude to it, reasoning that to deny players the chance to earn life-changing sums is counterproductive.

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“I think it’s the reality of cricket today and something we’re going to have to live with,” said Moxon.

“At the start of the IPL there was a slight kick-back from counties to try and stop the drain of the best players to IPL in our season, and we called for a window ourselves.

“But with the state of the game now there’s too much money involved to stop the players taking those opportunities. I think it’s got to the point now where we’ve got to work with players rather than fight against it and we’ve just got to accept it – that it’s part of the game.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s in our season; other countries don’t have that same issue that we have. Ultimately, if a player has got the desire to go and play in IPL, the realism now is that they’re going to be afforded that opportunity.

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“That’s what it is. That’s the situation, and we all accept that.”

It is not just at county level that the IPL is having a pervasive effect.

England’s tour to India this winter was beset with controversy due to players being rested from Tests even though they will soon be performing in IPL.

Further consternation has been caused by the prospect of some players missing the Lord’s Test against New Zealand in June due to it potentially clashing with the IPL finals.

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“It’s just the way that the game is at the moment,” reiterated Moxon.

“England players are missing England matches to play IPL, and if England are saying that (it’s the way it is), then we as counties have no other choice than to go along with it.

“Chris Silverwood (England head coach) summed it up the other day when he spoke about it, saying that Test cricket is still very important and that he’s also seeing it as a glass half-full in that it’s going to give opportunities to other players.

“If they come in and do well then it makes the England squad stronger, not weaker.

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“That’s the beauty of Chris Silverwood’s take on it, that it’ll give him an opportunity to see other players perform.

“He’s seeing it, and England are seeing it, with the view that players playing in the IPL will gain experience and knowledge that they will bring back to domestic cricket, which they will then be able to pass on to the players coming through.”

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