England are world No. 1 thanks to IPL: Giles

England, who are world No. 1 in ICC’s T20I rankings, have benefited immensely thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL), said former England player Ashley Giles, who is the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director.

“Years ago we found it very difficult for players to get into the IPL to experience that tournament. Now all of our players are in high demand and it’s probably the big reason why we are number one in the world in both white-ball formats,” said Giles on ‘The Hussain and Key Cricket Show’ on Sky Sports.

Giles clarified that England players are free to pick IPL ahead of home Tests against New Zealand which begin on June 2, just three days after the IPL ends. The 2021 IPL runs from April 9 to May 30.

“In my briefings with the players, I have encouraged them to think very carefully about what their programmes are. I have not directed them,” Giles said.

“We aren’t forcing either way. The IPL isn’t going anywhere. It has extreme benefits to us. From this group here, I think, we have 12 of the 16 players going to the IPL. We have agreed for players to go to the IPL. Those two Test matches (vs New Zealand) were arranged late, they didn’t form part of the original schedule.

“We had agreed with the players and with the IPL that the players would be available right through the tournament and if they got to the later stages, they would be able to participate,” Giles said.