New Delhi: On pacer Jofra Archer being reportedly offered a year-long contract by Mumbai Indians, England men's Test head coach Brendon McCullum admits that the game is going in a different direction from what it is right now.
As per a report in Daily Mail, Archer is set to be offered a year-round, multi-million-pound deal by the five-time IPL winning team that would require the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to gain permission from the IPL franchise to pick him for England's international matches. As of now, Archer has left IPL 2023 due to a long-standing right elbow injury.
"In the end, the game is going in a different direction. In the last few years, there's been a shifting of the sand somewhat around international cricket and we'd be completely naive to think that players would turn down huge amounts of money on long-term contracts for a lot less work in these T20 leagues because they should be playing international cricket. Those days are fast approaching to be over," said McCullum to the SENZ Breakfast show.
McCullum, the former New Zealand captain, also feels that similar contracts by franchises will challenge the world of international cricket. "So, what you've got to do is you've got to work with these players, you got to work with these leagues and try and allow ideally players to have their cake and eat it too because you want your best players playing (international cricket)."
"It's not good enough to say, 'You know what if they don't want to play international cricket for us, then bugger them we'll move on and find someone different', because as a spectator, you want to see the best players in the world representing their countries. I think you've got to work with them and that's something which we'll be challenged with."
McCullum also feels that England are lucky in offering their players more money to play international cricket compared to other ICC nations, thereby stopping them from pursuing T20 franchise cricket deals.
"The thing from our point of view is how do we ensure that when that decision comes, they're thinking about how great of a time they have representing the England Test side."
"How much fun they've had, how much those experiences which they've been able to get in an England shirt is so great that they are prepared to continue to put their yards and even though it might not be as financially viable as some of the other leagues."
"But I think we (England) are a little bit lucky too because the amount of money that we can pay players is better than some of the other (cricket) boards around the world. But it is a shift, it's definitely a shifting landscape and you've just got to be fluid."