England cricketers’ IPL participation at stake

January 18th, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 18 (IANS) England cricketers’ participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is at stake after league commissioner Lalit Modi informed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the players must be available for four weeks. The ECB had thought they had reached an agreement with Modi that England’s centrally contracted cricketers could play in the league for just 15 days. But Modi, who is also the vice-president of the Indian cricket board, told them Saturday that players must be available for four weeks of the two-year IPL deals on offer or they will not be entered into the auction Feb 6. Six England players were likely to be auctioned.

“This development is a serious concern. We are working through this with the ECB but clearly it is a concern to India and has a potential impact on English cricket. If we are the only country to have players not appearing in the IPL then that would not be a good prospect,” Sean Morris, chief executive of Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

The new central contracts are unsigned despite nearly six months of negotiations between the ECB and the PCA. The ECB wants to protect its May Test series, which clashes with the IPL, while the players are desperate to cash in on the IPL.

“We have had some very good talks with the BCCI and they were very comfortable with our proposal over a wide range of issues,” an ECB spokesman told the daily.

If the ECB allows the players to go to the IPL for a month then they would miss the first Test against the West Indies, which is slated for May 6 at the Lord’s.

Pietersen will be the ECB’s number one worry. He has already been assured by his county, Hampshire, they will not stand in the way of an IPL contract.

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