ECB allows Pietersen, Flintoff to play in IPL

January 23rd, 2009 - 12:17 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 23 (ANI): England Batsman Kevin Pietersen and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will play in the Indian Premier League after signing their national central contracts.

Talks between Englands players and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on signing of the annual deals had stalled over how long they would be allowed to play in the IPL, The News reported.

The agreement will allow a chosen few, probably Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and maybe Ravi Bopara, to earn some big money quickly.

England all-rounder Paul Collingwood was quoted as saying on Thursday that the contracts have been signed by the players and we are waiting on the IPL to come back with confirmation.

The only downside to IPL is more time away from home but Twenty20 cricket isnt going to tire us out too much, he said.

The auction wont be a distraction. There will be a bit of banter in the dressing-room but itll only affect a select few, he added.

Meanwhile, the ECB have announced record attendances for the domestic game in 2008, with county cricket attracting an all-time high of 1.5 million spectators, up 23 per cent on 2007.

The ECB had said it would only allow players to compete in the competition for two weeks — a period, which IPL chief Lalit Modi said was too short to be of use on or off the field to the competing teams.

But now the ECB has agreed that their Test players can play in the IPL for a three-week period beginning in April, soon after the conclusion of the current West Indies tour, which formally started on Thursday. (ANI)

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