West Indies Cricket Board fears losing players due to IPL

March 16th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, March 16 (IANS) West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) fears its best players might not be available in the series against Australia as it coincides with the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League (IPL). WICB chief Donald Peters said they might miss the services of Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan - in the home series in May and June which is also the period when the inaugural IPL rolls out.

“We are aware we may lose the players for the first two Tests against Australia. I asked the selectors to be cognisant of this and to try to put batsmen in that could replace Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan,” Peters was quoted by The Age.

Peters said, if the IPL teams of the respective players advance to the later stages of the tournament, the board will not stop them from playing in the Twenty20 event in India.

They (players) are entitled to earn their living because of the relatively paltry sums, which are on offer for representing the nation, he said.

“West Indies and New Zealand are two of the smallest cricket nations, and it will hurt us the most if our best players leave to play in the IPL because it’s hard to replace three of your best players. But we have to find a solution,” he added.

Though the IPL organisers said that all players featuring in the 44-day tournament would need ‘No-Objection Certificates’ from their respective boards to compete in the league, but the financially weak WICB said if the players chooses IPL over national commitment, they would not restrict them.

“I have the NOCs for the players, but I am not going restrict the players because they would go anyway,” said Peters.

“Given the amount of money involved, it may destabilise the infrastructure of cricket. It’s not fair to the players and it’s not fair to the national teams,” he said.

However, their Australian counterpart - Cricket Australia - has already made it clear that playing for the country comes first.

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