England players should be docked money from their salaries if they want to go home on a break from national duty, said former captain Geoffrey Boycott. He said that England’s players would never take a break from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and so they should not be allowed to do the same while playing for the national team.
Boycott’s comments come amidst widespread criticism aimed at England’s rotation policy during their four-match Test series against India, which they lost 3-1. The defeat also ruled them out of contention for a spot in the final of the World Test Championship.
“England messed up with a rotation policy in India and must stop treating players in a namby-pamby way. If players want to go home for a break from England duty, dock their money. Better still, don’t select them unless they can agree to be available for a whole series,” wrote Boycott in The Daily Telegraph.
England head coach Chris Silverwood said in a press conference during the series that it is hard to tell players not to play in the IPL. “It is very difficult to say to the players that ‘no, you can’t play IPL’. You can’t say no if you just see the numbers. IPL is a marquee cricket event in the T20 world and so it’s difficult,” Silverwood had said.
However, Boycott said that players owe the national team because it is only when they perform for England that the IPL teams come calling.
“Players seem to forget the IPL would not come calling for them if they had not performed for England first. So, they owe a debt of gratitude and loyalty to put their country first. I would never stop them from earning that but not by missing games for England to do it,” said Boycott.
“Players leave England’s bio-secure bubble over mental health issues. But I bet you will not see any of our players leaving the IPL because they miss their wife, girlfriend or kids,” he said.