Harmy: We need IPL action
England bowler senses gulf between team-mates and IPL stars
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: 23/11/08 1:08pm
Harmison: Fears for England
Steve Harmison believes England's players must take part in the Indian Premier League or risk trailing behind the rest of the world in all forms of the one-day game.
England stand on the brink of a 50-over series defeat in India after three straight losses and have been roundly outplayed so far on the subcontinent.
Seamer Harmison has revealed the England players' admiration for the skills displayed by their opponents, and believes they have benefited massively from participation in this year's inaugural IPL.
England's centrally-contracted stars were barred from the first edition of the IPL, but Harmison believes they must be allowed to cash in this time around or risk being left behind by their counterparts.
"Watching how the Indian players have gone about their skills in the current one-day series it is clear to me that playing in the IPL has helped them improve in vital areas and had a huge benefit on their team," he told the Mail on Sunday.
"And the danger for England is that if our players are not involved in the IPL in future we could get left far behind in certain areas."
"Batsman are no longer content to look for 260-275 as par scores, and are now looking for a minimum of 290-300 every time."
And the 30-year-old believes the lucrative Twenty20 tournament has allowed the Indian bowlers to hone their abilities.
"Bowlers such as Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Yuvraj (Singh) have learned the arts and crafts of taking the pace off the ball with slower deliveries, yorkers and dead balls," Harmison added.
"The Indians have performed with Twenty20 intensity over the full 50 overs and it has been very impressive to watch.
"And I don't think it is any coincidence that, as a group of players, we have been lacking in some of those skills and disciplines."