England’s bowler Saqib Mehmood turned down the offer to play Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) in order to focus on his red-ball cricket. The fast bowler had a chance to be part of the top-notched tournament but instead, he has prioritized polishing his red-ball skills, choosing to play the first-class game for Lancashire in County Championship.
The 25-year old made his Test debut versus the West Indies recently. He closed two Tests with the courtesy of six wickets averaging 22.8 at an economy of 2.24 to inspire the masses. Having a great start to his red-ball career, Saqib told the press when the team was out in the Caribbean, he got an IPL offer and he knew his decision to turn it off.
“I turned down an IPL offer just to be here playing for Lancashire and try to push my red-ball credentials. I got an offer while we were out in the Caribbean and it was a decision I had to make,”
“I spoke to a couple of the guys around me and felt as though it was in my best interests at the moment to focus on red-ball cricket. Hopefully, that can highlight my ambition to play Test cricket and to give myself the best chance to do that by performing here for Lancashire,”
Saqib further commented that he decided on the decision after discussing it with his mate, Ben Stokes, who also opted out of the cash-rich league to prioritize the national duties. The bowler although has not revealed which team gave him the offer.
“That was my choice. It was funny because it came from a conversation I had with Stokesy over breakfast one morning. I got talking to him about why he didn’t go to the IPL and he said he wanted to prioritize red-ball cricket and be a part of the squad moving forward,”
The pacer closed the statements saying Stokes got an IPL offer on the same day surprisingly. However, the all-rounder’s decision to deny it inclined Saqib even more to pursue red-ball career rather than going for the franchise cricket.