Mumbai: England cricketers, who play more than one-format, including Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Jos Buttler are likely to miss the New Zealand Test series in June, due to a clash with this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs.
Stokes, Buttler, and Archer are an integral part of both IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and England's Test squad. The schedule of IPL is yet to be announced but the tournament is likely to begin in the second week of April. Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and Sam Curran (Chennai Super Kings) could also be affected if their respective teams qualify for the play-offs.
With the England-New Zealand two-match Test series scheduled for the first two weeks of June, the players might miss the longest format fixtures due to quarantine protocols, if their sides qualify for the playoffs.
On Tuesday, the IPL through an email (seen by ESPNcricinfo) informed the franchises about the availability of cricketers from the top countries.
"In the event of ECB Selectors wishing to select a player for the 1st Test v New Zealand whose franchise has made it through to the knockout stages of the Tournament, but who is not featuring in the starting XI, the relevant franchise is requested to release such player early so that they can participate in the Test Match," ESPNcricinfo quoted the IPL email as saying.
Meanwhile, the IPL 2021 Player Auction list was announced last week, with a total of 292 cricketers set to go under the hammer in Chennai on February 18.
The league, in a media advisory, said 1,114 cricketers had initially registered for the auction and the final list was pruned after the eight franchises submitted their shortlist of players.
INR 2 crore is the highest reserve price and two Indian players - Harbhajan Singh and Kedar Jadhav - and eight overseas players - Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, and Mark Wood have chosen to be slotted in the highest bracket.
As many as 12 players are in the auction list with a base price of INR 1.5 crore. Hanuma Vihari and Umesh Yadav are the two Indian players in the list of 11 cricketers with a base price of INR 1 crore.
A total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas players, and 3 players from Associate Nations will be up for grabs in the IPL 2021 Player Auction in Chennai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have the highest number of available slots, 13, followed by Kings XI Punjab (9), Rajasthan Royals (8), and Kolkata Knight Riders (8). Sunrisers Hyderabad (3) have the least amount of available spots.