Reece Topley, who was contacted by the Chennai Super Kings, has admitted that it was the county cut-off rules, which prevented him from being part of the cash-rich league in India. Topley also revealed that his long-term plan is to represent the country in the World T20 in India, this October.
Australian pacer, Josh Hazlewood, pulled out of the IPL at the eleventh hour, which forced the three-time IPL winners, Chennai Super Kings to search for a replacement. The franchise seemingly had set its sight on England’s left-arm pacer Reece Topley before eventually picking Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff as the replacement.
While the reason behind Topley was cited as first-class duties, the pacer now has admitted that the County cut-off rules prevented the left-arm seamer from representing the Chennai Super Kings, in the IPL. According to the ESPNCricinfo report, the cut-off date of February 28 was set for the IPL franchises, if they wanted to pick a player from the English county, with Topley still contracted to Surrey.
Meanwhile, Jason Roy, who is centrally contracted, with the ECB, had no restriction to be part of the IPL, as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh, who pulled out of the tournament. ESPNCricinfo also reported that the lanky English pacer was contacted by Rajasthan Royals for a trial after the franchise understood that Jofra Archer won’t be available for a major part of the tournament.
"It's unfortunate - I was really keen to go (to IPL), but there's something in place that means English county players can't go out as replacements. Jason went but he's contracted to the ECB, whereas I'm contracted to Surrey, and I fell under that rule. It was something I'd have liked to have done but those are the rules," Topley said, reported ESPNCricinfo.
"There was an opportunity to go out (IPL),” he added.
The left-arm pacer, who made his presence felt in the three-match ODI series, where he was consistently a threat to the Indian batsmen, added that he feels great just playing the game. In terms of a long-term plan for him, the pacer admitted that it is to represent the country and be part of the World T20 squad, at the end of the year.
"Whatever the format, the batsman or the scenario, it's just amazing to be playing. [My involvement at Surrey] is on a week-by-week basis but I feel great. Obviously the long-term plan is the T20 World Cup at the end of the year and that's my main focus, but with this huge chunk of Championship cricket at the start of the season I really want to contribute towards winning games for Surrey."