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IPL 2024: Sanjay Bangar exposes England Cricket Board over availability of England players during the tournament

Published at :May 20, 2024 at 6:43 PM
Modified at :May 20, 2024 at 6:43 PM
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(Courtesy : Source-Punjab Kings)

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PBKS lost services of Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone in final few matches of IPL 2024.

Punjab Kings (PBKS) head coach Sanjay Bangar has spoken out about the hardships his side experienced following the sudden departure of the England players for international service during the last phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 league stage. Bangar slammed the England Cricket Board for calling back their players.

When the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their 15-man T20 World Cup roster, they also urged the selected players from the IPL 2024 to return home ‘in time’ for the home series against Pakistan, starting May 22.

This meant several IPL franchises faced the danger of losing crucial English players just before the start of the playoffs. Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), Phil Salt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Will Jacks, Reece Topley (both Royal Challengers Bengaluru), Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Liam Livingstone (Punjab Kings) were among those who quit the competition early.

ECB had made it clear that all the players will be available: Sanjay Bangar

Bangar spoke during the post-match press conference following PBKS’ last league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) about the impact of losing important England players on his team’s performances in the lucrative T20 league.

Bangar noted that while preparing the auction, the PBKS team was confident about the availability of the England players for the entire season due to the ECB’s assurances. However, the decision to extend the ongoing IPL in 2024 for a variety of reasons complicated matters.

Sam Curran, Liam Livingston, and Jonny Bairstow left the PBKS camp to join the England camp ahead of the T20I series against Pakistan. Bangar stated that this put them in a difficult position because they needed to adjust quickly to the absence of key players for their remaining IPL 2024 games.

Sanjay Bangar said at the post-match press conference in Hyderabad: “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.

“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.”

PBKS finished ninth in the IPL 2024 standings, having won only five of their 14 matches in the season.

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