No England player would ever turn his back on national team to play IPL, says Rory Burns

England’s concerns that their leading players will quit international cricket if not given permission to play in the Indian Premier League is misguided, says Rory Burns, who insists he “can’t ever” see that situation arising.

England’s selection policy has been criticised after centrally-contracted players were allowed to potentially miss the first Test of the summer against New Zealand if their IPL teams make it through to the latter stages of the tournament. That decision came after several players had already missed games against Sri Lanka and India this winter, while still committing to a full IPL season starting next Friday.

Ashley Giles, England’s managing director, this week suggested a tougher stance from the ECB could result in players turning down central contracts if denied the chance to compete in the world’s most lucrative league.

“We don’t particularly want to go toe-to-toe with our players over IPL participation in the long run because we may face losing some of our best players,” he told the BBC’s Tuffers and Vaughan show.

No player has turned down a full central contract, which can be worth in excess of £1 million, at the peak of their careers since they were introduced in 2000, and Burns said he fully expected that to remain the case regardless of selection policy around the IPL.

“No, I can’t [see anyone turning one down] because I think the way we are currently being managed and the way the boys are being treated lends itself to a very happy camp,” he said.

“Within that, playing for your country at any stage is the biggest honour and pride you can have in the game. There’s a mutual respect there and I can’t ever really see that situation occurring, no.”

Burns lost his England spot at the top of the order two Tests into the recent four-match series against India and has now gone nine matches, dating back to November 2019, without an international hundred.

Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Rory Burns

Rory Burns (right) lost his England spot at the top of the order during India Test series

Credit: BCCI

With seven weeks of County Championship matches for Surrey before England return to duty against New Zealand, Burns is hoping to earn an international recall.

“The way those [India] Tests were going you could have left out any of the batters at various different points because of the way they were set up,” said Surrey captain Burns.

“Conditions were loaded in India’s favour, which is their prerogative. But it wasn’t conducive for opening the batting in terms of the way we see it in this country. 

“There’s a great opportunity for me to go out and score some runs for Surrey ­– I love doing that – so that’s how I’m approaching the season.

“I think there’s a bit of credit in the bank there in terms of what I’ve done over a period of time. But quite frankly it’s more about what’s going on behind my ears and how I’m approaching the game and what I’m doing with Surrey here.”

Meanwhile, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has confirmed it is in talks with players and the ECB about what anti-racism stance the domestic game will take when it begins next Thursday.

“We have opened up this topic to the PCA representatives within each team for thoughts and ideas on how to show solidarity against racism,” a PCA spokesman told Telegraph Sport.

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