Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels that the disparity between the prices of Australian and English players in the IPL is just a matter of perception.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) May 21, 2018
Swann believes that the Aussies taking part in the IPL are not necessarily better than their English counterparts, but the owners are ready to splurge their money on them just because the world cricketing fraternity has felt that way for a long time.
“The difference between what the English players are worth (at the IPL) compared to the Australians who have gone for massively high prices is that Australian cricket has been the best in the world for a long time, so people automatically think they are better than everyone else. They are not necessarily better, but that’s the perception at the minute. With all due respect to the people spending the money, they are not savvy cricket minds,” Swann said.
Talking about the large number of Australian coaches in the IPL (like Brad Hodge, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey), Swann said that the teams feel more comfortable in picking the Aussie players because the coaches already understand their game well.
Furthermore, he added: “(A lot of) the coaches are Australian, so they pick, I won’t say their friends, but they pick the players they trust and coach in Australia. But trust me, in the next ten years, you’ll end up with truly multinational teams everywhere, because the best players will end up in the same places.”
Although Swann says that the ECB’s attitude towards the IPL has changed over the years (due to which as many as 12 England players were picked in this year’s IPL auction), he believes that first-class cricket in the UK still has a lot to offer for young cricketers.
“Very few New Zealand, Australian or English spinners are out here, and that is because there is a lot of good homegrown Indian spinning talent who franchises can purchase for cheaper sums. If you are a spinner growing up in England at the minute, you don’t think of the IPL,” Swann quipped.
Speaking about some of the English players who once featured in the IPL but have now been left in the cold, Swann commented, “It is not a given that English players will get picked up at an auction. It’s only one or two players who’ve been here all the time. Eoin Morgan, he’s not here anymore. Owais Shah who used to come every year, threw all his eggs in the white-ball basket, it didn’t really pan out for him. So, there’s still much, much more of a route down the red-ball avenue in England.”