Yorkshire stars snub IPL as they focus on County

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YORKSHIRE are breathing a sigh of relief after revealing none of their players have put their names forward for next year’s Indian Premier League, writes Chris Waters.

The Twenty20 competition clashes with the first eight weeks of the county season and would have ruled any IPL player out of six County Championship and four CB40 games.

Last year, six Yorkshire stars – captain Andrew Gale, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Anthony McGrath and Adam Lyth – expressed a desire to take part in the lucrative event.

But none made it past the players’ auction after Yorkshire chose not to stand in their way.

There had been speculation that Yorkshire’s swashbuckling batsman/wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow might have been a tempting target for IPL franchises, but Bairstow and colleagues are fully committed to helping Yorkshire back into the County Championship First Division.

Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “None of our players have been put forward for next year’s event, and I’m relieved about that.

“None of them wanted to be put up for it, and certainly nobody came to us to ask if they could be involved,” he said.

“Initially, it’s the players’ decision as to whether they want to be put up for the players’ auction.

“Then the county has to decide whether to allow them to be put up for it, but it’s not an issue at Yorkshire this time around,” said Moxon.

As one of cricket’s most explosive batsmen, Bairstow may well play IPL at a future date, but Moxon believes he is right to put it on the backburner for the time being.

“Jonny knows he needs to be playing county cricket to continue to establish himself as an international cricketer,” said Moxon.

“I think he is absolutely right to focus on that and it’s a good decision at this stage of his career.”

The IPL runs from April 4 to May 27.