England Women players in a dilemma as WPL clashes with New Zealand T20Is


England’s women are facing a choice between club and country, with a clash looming between the final stages of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India and a bilateral T20I series in New Zealand.

The BCCI confirmed this week that the WPL final will take place on the evening of March 17 in Delhi, with the first of five women’s T20Is due to be played in the afternoon on March 19 in Dunedin. It would be logistically impossible for players to feature in both matches.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the ECB has told players involved in the WPL that staying in India until the tournament is complete will mean they are not considered for selection for the first three T20Is in New Zealand. They are expected to name squads for the tour next week.

The players involved are understood to have weighed several factors in their respective decisions. Their WPL salaries range from INR 30 lakh (£30,000 approx.) to INR 3.2 crore (£320,000 approx) and while some players are certain starters for both their franchises and England, others have had to consider their prospects of featuring in either side.

The decisions are complicated further by the sharp recent increase in England women’s match fees, which were equalised with the men’s team last year, and the proximity of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year. As captain, Knight is believed to have made herself available for the entirety of the New Zealand tour.

Lauren Bell, who was due to play for UP Warriorz, pulled out of the WPL on Friday. The ECB said she has “withdrawn… to prioritise preparing optimally” for the New Zealand tour. In line with the WPL’s regulations, Bell’s decision to withdraw for the full competition enabled the franchise to sign a replacement in Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu.

The ECB took a hard line with players when a similar clash arose in December. Bess Heath and Danielle Gibson both missed the WBBL final in Australia in order to link up with England’s squad in Mumbai ahead of a T20I series which started four days later, though neither player featured in the first T20I.

That stance contrasts with the one taken by New Zealand Cricket, who allowed Amelia Kerr to miss a T20I against Pakistan in order to feature in the WBBL final. Kerr (Mumbai Indians) is one of two New Zealand players involved in this year’s WPL, along with Sophie Devine (RCB).

#England #Women #players #dilemma #WPL #clashes #Zealand #T20Is

Leave a Comment