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Luke Wright: You had to pay your own way in the IPL

Wright IPL
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

In the first episode of Wisden and CricViz‘s The Greatest T20 podcast, Luke Wright and Freddie Wilde discuss how England cricket has changed to suit the needs of its players who want to play in the IPL.

Wright was snapped up by Pune Warriors India ahead of the 2012 season of the IPL. Though he couldn’t set the tournament on fire with his all-round abilities, playing only seven matches across two seasons, he still maintains that even paying his way was ‘well worth it’.

Wisden Cricket Weekly · Wisden and CricViz present…The Greatest T20: Who is the greatest T20 batsman?

“I think those are misconceptions (that players go to the IPL for money). Even back during my IPL days, I didn’t go for the money that a lot of guys do now but I pretty much paid my way. I think my second year, with all the compensation, people are going to see that you pay your clubs and all of that. So I think it cost me money in my second year to go back to Pune.

“But in the long term development, it was well worth it. Everyone at the time said this is a golden ticket or you’re in the IPL, that means you’re earning millions of dollars. Well, actually there are only a select few that are lucky enough to get the big pay. But the learning and experience were worth every penny,” Wright revealed.

Wilde took the opportunity to focus on how ECB have modified their stance, something which proved beneficial for the likes of Sam Billings, who impressed while playing for the Chennai Super Kings in 2018.

“I think the most famous example in the last couple of years is [Sam] Billings, who went for his base price. But ECB, so keen for Billings to go and get the experience out there, compensated him because after he was paying back the money to his county and the ECB, he was going to be losing money and the ECB compensated him.

“So it shows how far things have changed. Things have sort of gone 180, now they’re paying players to go out there and Billings had a great season with CSK and obviously playing under guys like [MS] Dhoni, he’s only going to learn and improve to become a better cricketer. Amazing how things have changed,” Wilde said.

You can listen to the full episode of Wisden and CricViz‘s new podcast, The Greatest T20, on the Podcast App or Spotify.

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