When the Indian Premier League (IPL) started, most of the overseas players dreamt to play the tournament with the money involved and exposure one used to get with it. England cricketer Luke Wright was no different to it and rather has recalled an incident when Sachin Tendulkar himself has called him up to play for Mumbai Indians (MI) during the early years of the IPL.
Wright was always England’s top player in the limited-overs format and went on to play 50 ODIs and 51 T20Is for them. Even when he is playing for Sussex in the T20 Blast, he tends to give some quickfire starts to the team opening the innings. Coming back to his IPL career, he has played for the Pune Warriors in seven matches scoring only 106 runs in six innings during IPL 2012 and 2013 seasons.
ECB had denied permission to play in the IPL
In the first episode of Wisden conducted podcast, Luke Wright threw light on an instance when he had actually got a chance to play for the Mumbai Indians alongside Sachin Tendulkar in one of the earlier editions. He recalled that the master blaster himself had called him and he thought his teammates were making a joke of him.
“I remember missing out on one of the IPLs actually. I thought it was a joke – Sachin Tendulkar rang me to go and play for the Mumbai Indians in one of the first IPLs, and I obviously thought it was the lads taking the mick,” he said.
The ECB then was against the players featuring in the IPL and Luke Wright remembers discussing with the board about it along with Ravi Bopara. ECB had then clearly told both the cricketers that they wouldn’t be playing for the country if they feature in the cash-rich league.
“I remember talking to the ECB about it, and it was me and Ravi Bopara both got told that if we were to go, we would be pretty much giving up playing for England. Whereas you look now and England are paying their compensations to go and play. I don’t think back then they appreciated that sharing the dressing room [would be like] with, well Sachin obviously for one,” Wright further said.
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