England star signs only one-year national contract to play more franchise cricket
In a recent development, a star England all-rounder surprisingly does not feature among the 18 players who have committed to the initial batch of multi-year contracts offered by the ECB. Instead, he has opted for a one-year agreement with the board.
Traditionally, the ECB has extended contracts on an annual basis. However, the potential earnings for players in franchise leagues have reached unprecedented levels, particularly with the introduction of UAE's ILT20 and South Africa's SA20 both of which receive substantial backing from IPL teams. Consequently, the ECB has introduced a number of multi-year contracts for this current cycle.
While players like Harry Brook, Joe Root, and Mark Wood have secured three-year deals, England Test skipper Ben Stokes' contract will only span the next 12 months. Over the past nine years, Stokes has remained under contract with the ECB, with additional financial security guaranteed through lucrative commercial arrangements and IPL contracts.
Notably, he commanded a fee of INR 16.25 crore (approximately £1.6 million) when signed by the Chennai Super Kings in the previous year's auction.
Ben Stokes shares his future plans of representing nation
Stokes seems to be maintaining flexibility in anticipation of the forthcoming renewal of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) and the ECB next year. This aligns with the commencement of a new cycle of broadcast rights. A representative for Stokes declined to provide further comment on his decision.
In a recent discussion, Stokes touched upon the 'landscape of cricket changing' when asked about his potential involvement in ODIs beyond the ongoing World Cup.
"I want to play as much cricket as I possibly can for England," he said. "That's where it is for me. I love representing the badge and I want to do that as long as I possibly can and play as many games as I possibly can.