It's not always true that cricketers who play in the Indian Premier League make millions of dollars, Luke Wright has said.
Speaking at Wisden and CricViz‘s The Greatest T20 podcast, the England cricketer said he even had to pay to play in the tournament when he did so in the 2012 season for Pune Warriors, as English cricketers had to pay a share to their county clubs.
"I think those are misconceptions," he said. "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 recalled how he missed a chance to play for Mumbai Indians with Sachin Tendulkar as the ECB did not allow him in 2008.
"If I had been able to have the experience with these franchises and different leagues before playing for England, which a lot of the players are doing either during or before, now, is such an advantage,” he said
"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.
"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 with, well Sachin obviously for one.
"If I had been able to have the experience with these franchises and different leagues before playing for England, which a lot of the players are doing either during or before, now, is such an advantage.
"When I went to Pune, you got Yuvraj [Singh], [Aaron] Finch, Angelo Mathews, [Ross] Taylor, you can reel off all these names, and you just stood there in the nets, learning how they go about it, asking questions, they’re giving you tips, and that was just huge for me as a learning curve, and you’re then playing in different conditions.
"In terms of learning, it’s the best. It’s under pressure, you’re there as an overseas player, people expect you to perform, but you are learning.
"I think, I became a far better player probably when I was 27, 28 because of those experiences than at times when I was playing for England."