Modern-day cricket is an ever-growing arena. New franchise leagues are popping up every now and then and garnering a lot of interest. The success of leagues like Zim Afro T10 and the Major League Cricket has further opened up new avenues for cricketers this year.
Pacer Mark Wood recently hinted that his participation in the upcoming five-match Test tour of India might depend on England’s new central contract, which is set for renewal next month. Wood might feature in ILT20 for a lucrative sum of money if he isn’t happy with the new contract provided to him. England captain Ben Stokes addressed the issue of players opting to play franchise leagues instead of international cricket. He is part of the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP), which is a body that looks after the interests of players.
England‘s Test captain acknowledged that the landscape of cricket is changing and said that if a player wants to secure a better future for his family by playing in franchise leagues, he would be comfortable in accepting the decision.
“We know now that the whole landscape of cricket is changing. That is great for the individuals who are still within the game but also the guys who are coming through. The opportunities that are presented now for cricketers are amazing, and it’s great for the sport. The more opportunities that come, the more people will be attracted to the sport and trying to make a career out of it. Everyone’s at a different point in their life, not just in their career, where other things have to be thought about by the individual. If a person makes a decision because they think it’s not only best for themselves but also the future and security of their family then it’s very hard to disagree with that,” Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“We’ve got to understand, and I’ve got to understand as a captain, that there might be some decisions players make and I’m very comfortable and aware that something like that might happen. But it’s up to the individual and I think having a good and clear understanding that the landscape of cricket is changing in front of our eyes very quickly makes things like this a bit more easy to understand, if players were to choose to do something like that.”
The England all-rounder came out of ODI retirement last month to play in the four-match series against New Zealand and the subsequent 50-over World Cup in India. The first of the four ODIs against New Zealand takes place on Friday, September 8 in Cardiff.