Former India pacer Irfan Pathan was among the many who took digs at the critics of the Indian Premier League after they pointed fingers at the T20 tournament for England’s poor showing in Test cricket in the recent past. Pathan’s cheeky statement on social media came after Jonny Bairstow came up with a rescue act to help England 268 for 6 on Day 1 of the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua.
Jonny Bairstow remained unbeaten on 109 as he helped England bounce back after they were reeling a 48/4, bringing back memories of their Ashes debacle from earlier this year when England’s batting unit crumbled innings after innings.
Bairstow and Ben Stokes stitched a 67-run stand for the 5th wicket and a 99-run stand with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to help put England back on track.
Following Bairstow’s hundred, Irfan Pathan took to social media to put out a cheeky statement that was seemingly a dig at the critics of IPL.
“Jonny Bairstow plays IPL?” Pathan said in a widely-shared tweet.
Jonny Bairstow plays IPL?
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 9, 2022
England players were criticized for their involvement in the Indian Premier League when they were hammered 4-0 in the Ashes in Australia earlier this year.
Former Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur, who joined English county Derbyshire as the Head of Cricket, said it’s unfair to blame the quality of county cricket for England’s Test performances and that the England and Wales Cricket Board should limit their players going to play IPL.
“England haven’t scored enough runs. It’s as simple as that,” Arthur told The Times.
”If you want to lay the blame, you can lay it right there. County cricket isn’t to blame. For so long county cricket has been a really good producer of international players. I don’t think there’s a problem with the system If you want the strength early season, unfortunately, you are going to have to stop the players from going to the IPL.”
Legendary David Gower had also pointed fingers at the IPL while captain Joe Root had said he would be sacrificing IPL auction opportunity to focus on reviving the Test fortunes of England.
“I’ll keep sacrificing as much as I can because I care so much about Test cricket in our country and trying to get us to where we want to be,” he added.