English cricketer Zak Crawley is aiming for a spot in the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) to showcase his proactive batting skills on the T20 franchise cricket stage in the most-reputed T20 league in the world.
Having made sporadic appearances in ODI cricket for England, Crawley is yet to make an appearance in T20Is. However, the 28-year-old is keen on changing this after a terrific Ashes summer under the Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes leadership. The England opener is apparently keen on earning his place in the white-ball teams for the upcoming tour to the Caribbean Islands in December.
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England are reportedly likely to rest several first-choice players after the ODI World Cup. The 28-year-old is hopeful that his performances for London Spirit in The Hundred will help him in his quest for inclusion in the limited-overs squad.
Zak Crawley on white-ball ambitions
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Crawley expressed his hopes of travelling with the white-ball team for the West Indies series.
He described the prospect of playing in the region as “awesome” and is keen to make his mark in T20 cricket for England. With the departure of Alex Hales from international cricket, there could be an opening at the top of England's T20I batting order alongside Jos Buttler, and Crawley is eager to seize the opportunity if given the chance.
While IPL appears to be Crawley's ultimate goal, the opening batter knows that the jounrye to the top T20 league would involve him proving his skills in the other competitions around the globe. Crawley is also in line to make a Big Bash League (BBL) appearance this winter to further his experience in T20 leagues.
This wouldn't be Crawley's first stint in the BBL, though, having already played eight games for Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL, but he was unable to make a mark, returning with just one half-century.
Speaking about his interest in participating in the IPL, Crawley hailed the league as the “biggest franchise tournament in the world.”
The IPL auction dynamics make his entry quite tricky, especially given that the auction this year isn't a mega auction where most players are back in the pool. Teams only need to fill holes in their existing squad and most of the 10 teams are well-equipped in terms of opening talent given the abundant domestic resources. However, Crawley remains optimistic and believes that if he performs well and impresses the selectors, he stands a chance of being picked up by one of the franchises.
Crawley has been proactive in his approach, choosing not to take a vacation after the successful Ashes series, instead jumping straight into action for London Spirit in The Hundred.
“I probably haven't played as much white-ball [cricket] as I would have liked,” Crawley said on ESPNCricinfo. “I'm glad that the schedule now has allowed for the full Hundred. That's why I was very keen to get going and play some white-ball cricket: it looks like it's going to be the future of the game so you don't want to be left behind.”
As he sets his sights on the IPL and his aspirations to make an impact in England's limited-overs setup, cricket fans worldwide will be keeping a close eye on his performances in The Hundred and other T20 leagues.