Former England all-rounder Phillip DeFreitas has revealed he would have loved to play in the IPL but claimed that playing for his country would’ve remained his “ultimate goal”, speaking on the latest episode of The Shackles Are Off podcast.
If ever there was a player made for T20 cricket, then with his fast bowling and powerful hitting, DeFreitas is surely it.
Our recent flashback to him tearing apart Craig McDermott in the Ashes is evidence of just how useful he would’ve been coming in lower down the order.
DeFreitas did play in the first few seasons of the Twenty20 Cup after its inception in 2003 but in this era of franchise cricket, he surely would’ve been a hot commodity.
Speaking on the latest episode of The Shackles Are Off podcast, he revealed that he would’ve loved to play in the IPL but insisted that pulling on the Three Lions remains the pinnacle.
He said: “Yeah, I would’ve loved playing whatever tournament there was cricket-wise. Whatever tournament there was, I would’ve played it and I would’ve loved it.
“I would love to be playing in the IPL now, seeing the way the boys travel everywhere, but the ultimate goal for a cricketer is to try and play for your country, for England.
“I would’ve loved to but it would’ve been interesting to see what would’ve happened with England and the IPL.”
DeFreitas also reminisced about his experiences in the first season of the Twenty20 Cup and the impact it had on him.
He said: “I remember when T20 came in 2003. What people don’t realise is that I played a few seasons of T20 but it was towards the end of my career.
“I captained Leicestershire for the first season of T20 and we got to finals day but lost to Warwickshire and Surrey won it that first year.
“The amazing thing I found with T20s when it first came we were all unsure about it, it was a bit weird. Eventually, we just got into it and we found that we had a very good side. We had Brad Hodge, Virender Sehwag, all these guys.
“It was fantastic. We got to finals day and I started to really enjoy T20.”
DeFreitas added: “I remember driving up to Yorkshire, to Headingley, to play this 40-over game. We were batting and I sat in the changing room and I was going ‘bloody hell, this game is boring. This 40-over game is so boring, I’ve never been so bored in my life.’
“Coming from T20 to 40-over it was like ‘god this is taking forever’. It was amazing because in T20 you rock up bowl your four overs, field for 20 overs, see you later. Half a day, it was brilliant.