IPL wrong move for Wright
England is "main focus and priority" for young all-rounder
Last Updated: May 7, 2008 9:13pm
Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright has joined the growing list of England players to turn down a potentially lucrative chance to join the Indian Premier League.
The 23-year-old was approached to play in the Twenty20 tournament by an unnamed franchise but has decided instead to focus his efforts on his international career.
Wright's decision follows those of a similar vein taken by Lancashire paceman Sajid Mahmood and Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara.
Despite not being centrally contracted, both players have nevertheless prioritised the chance to play for their country ahead of the IPL.
"Obviously I was very pleased to be considered for the IPL, however, at the moment my main focus and priority is playing for my country," Wright said.
"If the timings were different and it wasn't going to affect my chances of playing for England then it would be something I would seriously have to consider.
"I am now very much looking forward to the match against New Zealand which is obviously a great chance for me to prove myself in the longer version of the game and hopefully push for a Test place."
Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas is England's only current representative in the IPL, but established stars like Kevin Pietersen and Ryan Sidebottom have also declared their interest in participating in future.
Mahmood for one believes there is little reason why England's stars cannot enjoy the benefits of playing in both competitions.
"It is only three or four weeks out of the season," he said.
"If players can go out there, benefit financially as well as test themselves against the top players in the world, they can come back better for it.
"It's a chance to impress on a big stage against quality players and that's something that could impress the ECB and selectors."