England told they must "stop players going to the IPL" to improve Test fortunes

England have been to that they need to prevent their players from going to the IPL and missing the start of the County Championship season if they want to improve their fortunes in Test cricket.

Currently, England players are allowed to miss the opening rounds of the competition in order to participate in the IPL.

Last year, England even went as far as resting players involved in the IPL for their Test series against New Zealand, with Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali all left out of the squad.

The decision had a huge effect on England's summer of Test cricket, with New Zealand comfortably winning that series.

Then, the likes of Buttler, Bairstow, Curran and Moeen returning to the side having not played first-class cricket in almost six months because of their involvement in the IPL.

Following on from England's humiliating 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes, the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes all decided not to enter this year's IPL auction to prioritise Test cricket.

However, Mickey Arthur, who has coached South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and was recently appointed Derbyshire's head of cricket, believes England need to prevent their Test stars from going to the IPL in order to ensure they have their "best players playing county cricket" ahead of a busy Test summer.

"For so long county cricket has been a really good producer of international players," Arthur said.

"I don't think there's a problem with the system, I really don't. If you want the strength early season, unfortunately you are going to have to stop the players going to the IPL.

"They are playing there in the early part of the season just before the first Tests. You need your best players playing county cricket preparing for that.

"It's not the counties' fault, it's not the players' fault. Good luck having those conversations with the players though."

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