The 2020 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a few months away, and the fans are eagerly awaiting another season of cricket's grandest carnival.
Over the years, several international stars have associated themselves with the IPL. However, English cricketers were often unavailable for large swathes of the tournament, because their international schedule usually coincided with the IPL window. Because of this, the franchises rarely showed interest in the small bunch of English cricketers at the auction.
Very few players from England played in the early seasons of the IPL, but over the last few years, this trend has started changing. Their board is now focusing more on the T20 format, which is why England are one of the most dominant teams in limited overs cricket at the moment.
While a majority of the big T20 players from England have been a part of the IPL in the recent past, the following 5 players could have done well had they received an opportunity.
#5 Ian Botham
Former English Test skipper Ian Botham is widely regarded as one of the finest all-rounders of all time. He was the cornerstone of the English Test and ODI teams; although he achieved more success in the longer format, he was quite handy in 50-over cricket too.
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The fans would best remember him for his destructive spell of 4/31 against Australia in a group stage match at the 1992 World Cup. Botham played 116 ODI matches where he amassed 2,113 runs and scalped 145 wickets. His strike rate of 79.10 shows that he could hit the ball a long way too.
Because of his sharp cricketing brain, he could have been a solid captaincy option for the IPL teams too. However, Botham bid farewell to the cricket world before T20 cricket was born.
#4 Marcus Trescothick
Marcus Trescothick first made a name for himself by playing for Somerset in county cricket. He played his last T20 match four years ago, which means he had experience of playing in the shortest version of the game too.
Talking about his numbers in the shortest form of the game, Trescothick featured in 89 T20 matches where he aggregated over 2,000 runs at an average of 28.81 and a strike rate of 150.6. Given that he had been active as a cricketer since 1993, his strike rate of 150+ is quite impressive. Trescothick also smacked 304 fours and 80 sixes in his T20 career.
He could even bowl a few overs of medium pace in the middle. The 44-year-old didn't send down a single over in T20s, but he had a good record with the ball in the other two formats.
At the international level, the left-handed batsman played 3 T20Is, recording 166 runs at an average of 55.33. Because of his consistency and experience, Trescothick could have achieved a lot of success in the IPL.
#3 Stuart Broad
Former English T20I captain Stuart Broad is the most successful bowler from his country in the shortest format.
Broad has played 56 T20I matches for England where he has picked up 65 wickets while giving away runs at an economy rate of 7.62. He had earned a contract from Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, but he never got to play a match.
The 33-year-old fast bowler has featured in 85 T20 games, scalping 84 wickets at a strike rate of 17.8. Because of his wicket-taking abilities and experience, Broad could have made a major difference in the IPL.
The franchises always look to have an overseas fast bowler in their squad, and Broad could have been a hot property in the IPL auctions.
#2 Adil Rashid
Considering the rising demand of leg-spinners in T20 cricket, England's leggie Adil Rashid could have been one of the major names in the IPL. Rashid has been playing T20 cricket since 2008, which means he has plenty of experience under his belt.
The 31-year-old from Yorkshire has played 167 T20 games in his career, taking 189 wickets at an economy rate of 7.42. He has taken five 4-wicket hauls in T20 cricket, and has best figures of 4/11.
Since the conditions in India favor the spinners, the IPL franchises could have reaped rich dividends by signing Rashid up at the auction.
#1 Graeme Swann
The one English player who could have wreaked havoc had he played in the IPL during his prime is Graeme Swann.
England is the only team to have defeated India in a Test series at home in the last 10 years, and Swann was the architect of that victory. The off-spinner had a very good understanding of Indian pitches.
He played 38 T20I matches for England, and although he made his last T20I appearance in 2012, he still holds the number one position in the list of English spinners with the most T20I wickets. Overall, the Northampton-born player featured in 80 T20 games, scalping 98 wickets at an economy rate of 6.56.
The IPL teams are always in need of spinners who can scalp wickets in the middle overs while also keeping a check on the run flow, and Swann could have played that role to perfection.