Team director Ashley Giles says England have no plans to “rush” their IPL stars back for next month’s Test series against New Zealand and could introduce new faces to cope with a packed schedule.
The suspension of the IPL because of the devastating coronavirus outbreak in India has left England with a potentially larger player pool than they envisaged for the two-Test series against New Zealand.
Among those currently serving quarantine periods are Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran, all of whom have Test contracts with England.
They could be available for County Championship matches starting on May 20 before joining the England ‘bubble’ ahead of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, which begins on June 2.
But even if the trio are in contention, England may have to call up fresh reinforcements given Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley are currently injured, while fast bowler Jofra Archer has only recently returned to action with Sussex’s 2nd XI.
“All these guys (returning from the IPL) are currently in quarantine and have had a number of spells in quarantine and bubbles,” Giles said on Monday.
“We need to look after them, with the amount of cricket they’ve got coming up. We’re not going to rush or force them back into cricket.
“Chris Silverwood (the England coach) will work with each and every one of them, as will our medical teams on what’s best for their progress.”
After the New Zealand series, England have five Tests at home to India before travelling to Australia later this year in a bid to regain the Ashes. England also have numerous white-ball commitments, including the planned T20 World Cup in India.