England all-rounder David Willey has explained how he turned down the chance to play in the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) so he could lead Yorkshire Vikings in the T20 Blast.
The end of the T20 Blast group stages just overlaps with the start of the IPL, with the final round of Blast fixtures taking place on Sunday, September 20, and the Indian competition kicking off on September 19. However, with quarantine periods necessary to help combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, Willey would likely have had to miss a significant portion of his county side’s campaign to be available for the start of the IPL.
The left-armer, who was left out of England’s ODI and T20I squads to take on Australia, didn’t reveal which franchise had offered him a contract, but did say he is still hopeful of travelling to India after his Yorkshire commitments are done.
“I had an offer,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “The problem is there’s a crossover with the Blast and the IPL, so I said I’m available from when the Blast finishes.
“I want to captain Yorkshire in the Blast and see that through, so if there’s an opportunity that comes after that (IPL), great. There may still be opportunities which I’m open to.”
Willey also said he is in discussion with some teams in Australia’s Big Bash League, but is unlikely to acquiesce unless the restrictions allow his family to travel down under with him.
“Again, there’s been a bit of interest there,” he said. “But the issue for me there will be family travel. I’m not willing to spend that long away from my family.
“If that changes, I’ll bite someone’s hand off to get over and play, play any of the franchise cricket really, but it’s just weighing everything up.”