LONDON (Reuters) - Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart wants a cut-off date for county players to join the Indian Premier League (IPL) after losing seamer Tom Curran to the Twenty20 tournament just days before the start of their championship campaign.
Curran went unsold in February’s IPL auction but Kolkata Knight Riders recruited him for around $247,000 (£172,025) earlier this month to replace injured Australian paceman Mitchell Starc.
Yorkshire suffered a double blow with the similar late departures of David Willey and Liam Plunkett, leading county coaches to discuss the issue at Edgbaston last week.
"It's far from ideal losing Tom so late," former England captain Stewart was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo www.espncricinfo.com.
“I hope in time this will be looked at. The IPL is not going anywhere — I fully understand players wanting to be part of it because, one, it’s a good competition and, second, it helps your bank balance.
“The problem is when you get the phone calls I got for Tom, and Martyn Moxon (Yorkshire’s director of cricket) got for Willey and Plunkett, your planning goes out of the window.”
The readiness of county players ahead of the English season makes them prime IPL targets to replace injured players in the lucrative Twenty20 league and Stewart suggested that a fixed final recruitment date would help resolve the issue.
“All I think needs to be looked at is a cut-off, ideally a month before the championship starts,” he said.
“If you get picked up in the auction, that’s fine — it’s at the end of February, so that’s six or seven weeks before the start of the season.
“Then everyone knows that, even if you don’t get picked up in the auction, there’s a three- or four-week window, but once that has gone, you can’t then go and play (in the IPL).”
Stewart also demanded a redistribution of the money the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) receives for allowing its players to take part in the IPL.
“We have discovered that the ECB have been receiving 10 percent of the overall contract a player gets from IPL for a number of years and this year it is 20 percent,” he said.
“Should the ECB be keeping that? Or should that money come back to the county, who are the ones who miss out?
“I personally believe all that money should come back to the county if you are not an ECB-contracted player because of the money that has been invested.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien