Former opener Mark Butcher hopes the ECB will agree to the BCCI’s request to change the Test series schedule to suit the rest of the games in the ICP, as the England board has been given the leverage to get top Indian players for the ‘Hundred’ tournament.
The Indian board has unofficially requested that the five-match Test series between India and England be rescheduled for a week from August 4 for the remaining 31 IPL matches, but there has been no positive response from England and Wales. Cricket Board (ECB).
“Okay, listen. I take a deep breath here … like a country. I think it’s a huge opportunity, “Butcher said during the latest Wisden Cricket Weekly podcast.
Butcher said accepting the request would give the ECB the leverage to get top Indian cricketers like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni for the ECB’s flagship project ‘The Hundred’.
Butcher, 48, played 71 Tests for 1997 and England, saying, “… the ECB is utterly disappointed with this (hundred) work. They should have, they have bet on a hundred at home, but at every turn, it does not seem like a great power to make it happen.”
“Also to me, it’s you, we’ll bite the bullet … Kohli, Dhoni, we do this for BCCI on the condition that the three of us like to sign up. Years to play in The Hundred, starting from 2022.”
The inaugural edition of the 100-ball tournament ‘The Hundred’, comprising eight men’s and women’s teams, was scheduled to take place last year, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“And you have leverage for the first time: you have what they need, what they want. Obviously, the BCCI will lose a lot of money if they do not get the IPL in the window,” Butcher said.
“You also have an extraordinary scene completed as per IPL command or due to English cricket. And you use that lever to get what you really need. So I think an opportunity is missed.”
The IPL was halted earlier this month after multiple COVID-19 cases were registered inside its bio-bubble.
According to a senior BCCI official, the IPL will now temporarily resume in the UAE on September 18 or 19, with 10 double headers to be played in the three-week window.