Matt Prior can see potential rift between England players and the ECB over IPL
Matt Prior has predicted friction ahead unless there is a change in the ECB's stance on the Indian Premier League.
Last Updated: 14/02/13 10:10am
The IPL is the game's most high-profile domestic Twenty20 competition and highly lucrative for the players who take part in it, but as things stand, the ECB will not allow any of its England-contracted players to play longer than half a season in India owing to Test commitments.
Such obligations mean some England players are not considered to be stellar names in the big-money player auctions, with Prior having been unsold for the last two years.
While the 30-year-old is happy to follow the orders of the ECB, he does concede that problems may arise in the future if flexibility does not come into play.
"I know for a fact that players want to play in the IPL - you can't get away from the fact that there is an enormous amount of money at stake," said Prior.
"I'm employed by the ECB, so I do what the ECB says right now.
"If that's when the Test matches are, then that's when the Test matches are. My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play.
"The one thing, however, is that the IPL and these Twenty20 competitions are not going away.
"People love them and the players enjoy playing in them, so there are going to be more and more people getting frustrated at the lack of opportunity to play in the IPL. So things may have to change in time."
The sixth IPL starts on April 3 and runs to May 26, with England the only Test-playing nation to be in action during that period. They face New Zealand in the build-up to the Ashes series later in the summer.
The first game with the Black Caps is on May 16 and as things stand, Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen are the only players involved in the IPL.
Prior played for the Sydney Thunder in Australia's Big Bash league in January and, despite the lasting attraction of Test cricket, is worried that some may turn their back on it.
"If you ask any Englishman or Australian, 'would you rather score a T20 hundred or an Ashes hundred?' I know which one most people would go with, but guys are going to start looking at it," he added.