YORKSHIRE chief Martyn Moxon is backing Jonny Bairstow to tear up the Indian Premier League (IPL) and confirm his status as one of cricket’s biggest stars.
Bairstow was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad at yesterday’s auction in a deal worth £244,000.
Bairstow will spend roughly four weeks with the “Orange Army”, whose roster includes his sometime Yorkshire team-mate Kane Williamson and the disgraced Australia batsman David Warner.
Bairstow was one of five English players sold at auction, along with Sam Curran (Kings XI Punjab £788,000), Joe Denly (Kolkata Knight Riders £110,000), Harry Gurney (Kolkata Knight Riders £84,000) and Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals £56,000).
Yorkshire all-rounder David Willey (Chennai Super Kings) is among those English players who had already been retained by their franchise, but there were no deals for fellow England one-day stars such as Alex Hales and Chris Woakes.
Moxon said: “Jonny is such a talent and I’m sure he’ll light up the IPL. It’s a great tournament for him to be involved in and I’m sure he’ll go out there and really tear it up.
“I’m pleased for him because playing in the IPL is something that he’s been wanting to do. He wanted to do it last year and didn’t get picked up, but I think his performances for England in white-ball cricket of late have really rocketed his profile since the last IPL draft.”
Bairstow has clubbed four one-day international hundreds in 2018 to cement his place as opening batsman. He also struck a timely 84 not out from 24 balls for Kerala Knights against Bengal Tigers in the T10 League in Sharjah last month, an IPL-alerting performance if ever there was one.
The 29-year-old batsman/keeper, who is expected to sign a new contract extension with Yorkshire imminently, will miss the start of the county season with the IPL running from late March until late May.
However, his participation will be brief as all England World Cup squad members must report back for April 25, while it is unclear what, if any, cricket Bairstow would have been allowed to play for Yorkshire in early April.
“Jonny will miss the start of our season, but we’d planned with that in mind anyway,” said Moxon. “If he’d played all of the West Indies series coming up, then he may not have been made available by England, so I don’t know whether we would have had him.
“We know that we won’t have David Willey again during the IPL, but knowing at this time of year is absolutely fine, because you can then plan accordingly.
“It’s when it happens just before the start of the season that it’s a problem, which was our complaint, if you like, when that happened last year.”
Bairstow’s IPL engagements clash with the first two County Championship games and the opening three fixtures in the Royal London Cup, while there are three more Cup games between Bairstow’s return and the opening one-day international of the summer against Ireland in Dublin on May 3.
England may want Root to get some county matches under his belt before the World Cup, although Moxon said that such conversations have yet to take place.
Bairstow’s IPL call-up emphasises his burgeoning status on the global stage, with England stars having faced an uphill battle to be picked up this year due to World Cup preparation which peaks with a five-match one-day international series against Pakistan in May.
Franchises overlooked completely the 11th-hour auction submission of Eoin Morgan, the England white-ball captain, who was not even brought under the hammer.
One man who hopes to one day force his way into England’s white-ball teams – and the Test side also – is the Yorkshire batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
The 24-year-old is the county’s sole representative in the England Lions squads to tour India in January and February for two four-day “Test” matches and five 50-over fixtures.
Kohler-Cadmore retains his place after the recent Lions series in the UAE, where Pakistan A won the four-day and 50-overs series and the Lions claimed the T20 leg.
Kohler-Cadmore had five innings on the tour and got a start each time, with a top score of 33 in a T20 match in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m pleased for Tom that’s he been selected,” said Moxon. “He didn’t get a chance to play in the red-ball match (in the UAE), but got some starts in the white-ball games, while the reports that came back to us from the England management were favourable.
“Obviously, it would have been nice for Tom to have gone on and got a big score, but I think that they (England) definitely saw the potential in him.
“Hopefully, he can go to India and really cement a place and put himself in the forefront of the England selectors’ minds.”
Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite has signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of 2020.
“I’m over the moon to sign a new deal and hopefully I can push on from what I’ve done over the past couple of years,” he said.
“I’ve had a bit of a taste of first-team cricket and then seem to get injured, so hopefully I can stay fit for a full season and see what happens.”
Moxon said: “He’s someone we see with a bright future in all formats of the game.”