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‘ECB had made it clear that…’: Punjab Kings coach Sanjay Bangar reveals assurances for IPL 2024 | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Punjab Kings coach Sanjay Bangar has shed light on the challenges faced due to the unexpected departure of key England players for international duty in the critical phase of IPL 2024.
In a press conference after their final league match, Bangar revealed that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had initially assured the availability of their players for the entire IPL season, but changes in the tournament’s schedule disrupted these plans.
“The ECB had made it clear that all the players will be available. It is just that it so happens that the tournament got slightly extended, I would say, because of multiple reasons. Everybody was in a similar position but we lost those English players,” Bangar stated after Sunday’s game.The departure of England players, including Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Will Jacks, Phil Salt, Liam Livingstone, and Sam Curran, has significantly impacted several teams as these players left for the T20I series against Pakistan starting on May 22. For Punjab Kings, this meant losing their captain, Sam Curran, among others, just before crucial matches.
With Curran’s departure, Jitesh Sharma stepped up as captain for the first time on Sunday. Despite posting a strong total of 214 after electing to bat first, Punjab Kings were defeated by Sunrisers Hyderabad, marking a disappointing end to their campaign.
Bangar highlighted that the absence of key international players was a significant setback but not the sole reason for their underwhelming season.
“For us, even losing Livingstone with a niggle around his knee, the ECB pulling him out. Even KG (Kagiso Rabada) had an infection and he had to go back (to South Africa). Those things coupled together meant that when we came to the last two matches, we were short of players of international pedigree and experience. That hurt us but that is not the sole reason why our season was below par,” he explained.
The departure of these international stars has left a noticeable gap in several teams, impacting their performance at the crucial juncture of the tournament. Punjab Kings, like many others, have had to navigate these challenges while striving to maintain competitive form.

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