Sanjay Bangar stated that the ECB had assured IPL teams of the full availability of England players before the auction, but due to the tournament’s extension, they ended up losing their English players early.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) dropped a bombshell on IPL 2024 when they requested English players participating in the tournament to return home promptly for a series against Pakistan, leaving several IPL franchises in a quandary as they faced the imminent loss of key players ahead of the playoffs. Notable names like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Sam Curran bid an early adieu to their respective teams, disrupting team dynamics.

Sanjay Bangar, the coach of Punjab Kings, shed light on the situation, disclosing that the ECB had initially assured player availability for the IPL season. However, unforeseen circumstances led to the premature exits of English stars, leaving PBKS with a depleted overseas contingent comprising Nathan Ellis and Rilee Rossouw.

The departure of these players, compounded by injuries to Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada, who had to return due to health issues, contributed to PBKS facing a shortage of international-caliber players in their crucial matches.

READ ALSO | ECB Calls England’s Players in IPL to Play Home Series Against Pakistan From May 22

“When we went to the auction, the ECB had made it clear that all the players will be available. It is just that it so happens that the tournament got slightly extended, I would say, because of multiple reasons. Everybody was in a similar position but we lost those English players,” Bangar said.

“For us, even losing Livingstone with a niggle around his knee, the ECB pulling him out. Even KG (Kagiso Rabada) had an infection and he had to go back (to South Africa). Those things coupled together meant that when we came to the last two matches, we were short of players of international pedigree and experience. That hurt us but that is not the sole reason why our season was below par,” he added.

PBKS had another disappointing season, finishing ninth out of ten teams and becoming the second team, after Mumbai Indians, to be eliminated from the playoffs race.

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Last Updated on May 20, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter