Saba Karim has termed suggestions that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) might have forced their players to opt of the remainder of IPL 2021 as mere speculation.
Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Chris Woakes have decided not to return for the rest of IPL 2021 to be played in the UAE. However, some of the other English players like Moeen Ali have already reached Dubai to take part in the tournament.
During a discussion on India News, Saba Karim was asked if the England board could have a role to play in some of their players opting out. He responded:
“Whatever we hear or talk, these are all speculations. The England players opting out of the IPL is their personal decision.”
The former India wicketkeeper-batsman dismissed the idea while pointing out that Eoin Morgan and some of the other England players will be seen plying their trade. Saba Karim said:
“If that was the case, the England captain for the T20 World Cup, Eoin Morgan, why is he coming to play. A lot of other England players are also joining the IPL teams. So I don’t think this is the right thing.”
The franchises have expressed their concern to the BCCI about the late withdrawal of the English players. The Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Punjab Kings have already signed Sherfane Rutherford and Aiden Markram as replacements for Bairstow and Malan respectively.
Saba Karim feels the abandoned last Test between India and England should be staged later. He reasoned:
“It was such an important series and on top of that, the World Test Championship cycle has started. Separate points are given for every Test match. So, if you see from that angle as well, it is extremely necessary for the last Test to happen.”