Anderson: I'll turn down IPL millions to stay fresh for the Ashes
22:27 GMT, 22 December 2012
James Anderson will turn his back on Indian Premier League riches in a bid to add significantly to his record haul of international wickets for England – and other leading players could follow suit.
IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla suggested last week that England's 2-1 Test series victory on the subcontinent must have caught the imagination of franchise owners, with Anderson lined up for a massive payday.
Shaping up: Playing for England
is now James Anderson's priority
India captain MS Dhoni added another nought or two to Anderson's worth by nominating the 30-year-old as the difference between the teams in the Test series.
However, the Lancashire fast bowler, who could probably have earned more than 500,000 for two months' work, has placed a premium on international appearances in 2013. It is a year that starts with him being rested from the one-day series in India and concludes with back-to-back Ashes campaigns.
'I won't be putting my name forward,' said Anderson, who equalled Sir Ian Botham's record 528 victims in an England shirt during his man-of-the-match performance in the draw in Nagpur last week.
'We've got a huge 12 months ahead of us and, as appealing as the IPL is, I don't think this year is an appropriate time to go.'
The appeal of the IPL is based on the eye-watering sums the teams are prepared to fork out for premier performers. Kevin Pietersen earned 750,000 in a month with the Delhi Daredevils this year while Stuart Broad was valued at 250,000 by King's XI Punjab.
Dale Steyn netted just under 1million – proving that top-class pacemen are worth their weight in gold in a competiton dominated by big-hitters and all-rounders.
But Anderson will not be budged. He entered the auction 12 months ago with an asking price of 250,000, and even though there were no buyers then, his stock has risen during England's successful tour of India.
He said: 'People have said our profiles have never been bigger and this might be our chance, but I just don't feel it is the right thing to do. England is my priority and I want to be in the best shape I possibly can for the series ahead. I would rather concentrate on keeping fresh and fit for the challenges that lie ahead for us as an international team.
'We've got Test and one-day series in New Zealand and it would mean going straight from there to the IPL, then straight back into another home series against New Zealand. Then there is the Champions Trophy leading into the Ashes, so there isn't much respite. During this big 12 months I want to be involved as much as I possibly can be.
'Hopefully, in the future, that IPL opportunity will still be there because I would relish the chance to take part at a later date.'
Next year's IPL is scheduled to begin on April 3 – a week after England finish their tour of New Zealand – and runs until May 26. Centrally contracted players are permitted to feature for a three-week block, but only Pietersen and Eoin Morgan are on existing deals – with Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.
Those wanting their names to go forward for the January auction must notify their intentions within the next week, but Graeme Swann is thought to be among those who will put recuperation before rupees.
In Anderson's case, the chance to showcase himself as a limited-overs bowler in Asia has been removed once more. Last winter, he was 'rested' from the 5-0 one-day whitewashing by India. He will now not return in any capacity after Christmas, having originally been scheduled to play three of five matches.
'I do want to play one-day cricket and I don't like missing any games for England, but with how my body feels, a rest is probably the right decision,' said Anderson.
'After eight weeks on the subcontinent, getting through the volume of work that is required in a Test series over there, there is going to be some wear and tear on the body.
'There is nothing majorly wrong with me; I am just physically tired after a tour like that. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is that I feel I proved to a few people, and to myself – which is the most important thing – that I can bowl out there.
'I knew taking wickets was going to be difficult, especially after the first two matches, when I only had two to my name, so it was pleasing to reach the levels I did. I have standards that I want to keep no matter where I am playing or who I am playing against.'
Anderson's contribution to his 13th series win of the 26 he has appeared in as a Test cricketer was a dozen wickets at 30 apiece, and upping that number of victory celebrations will be at the forefront of his mind this Christmas. 'We know exactly what we want to achieve: to win back-to-back Ashes in Australia would be incredible for an England team. Having experienced it last time, it is definitely something I have an appetite for,' said the seam bowler.
'Personal landmarks are really nice, but the things I will definitely remember for ever are the moments I shared with my mates in the dressing room.
'After our win in Mumbai recently, we stayed for about four hours, chatting and listening to music. It felt euphoric having a beer after that game, as it did having a beer on the outfield at Sydney.
'Those times outweigh any of our own personal achievements.'