Relaxed IPL stance no guarantee of improved showing, says Flower

ENGLAND coach Andy Flower has dismissed the suggestion that another whitewash on the Subcontinent next year could be avoided were he to make his top players available for Indian Premier League selection.

A 95-run defeat in Kolkata yesterday sealed England’s 5-0 humiliation at the hands of the world champions. Of England’s batsmen only Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen, as well as the injured Eoin Morgan, have IPL experience and a greater understanding of conditions on the Subcontinent.

England will return to India next year for a seven-game one-day series but Flower believes a change of fortune is unlikely to be triggered by a more relaxed stance to allowing his players the chance to play in the IPL.

“A few of our batsmen play IPL cricket,” said Flower said. “We’ve got quite a lot of experience out here in the Subcontinent – I don’t think that’s an excuse that we can make.

“The IPL is quite a tricky situation. Given the schedules we have and that we make decisions to rest players at certain times during the year, trying to squeeze in the IPL is always going to present certain challenges to us.

“It is not all doom and gloom. But we want to be better able to deliver our skills here under pressure.”