Free every cricketer in the world for IPL: Shane Warne

March 1st, 2009 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 1 (IANS) Former Test spinner Shane Warne says cricket authorities should support the Indian Premier League (IPL) instead of trying to copy it, so that “every player in the world” is free to play in it.
“Playing for your country has to be number one. But, if common sense prevailed, the IPL would run for four weeks in April, with a week either side when there was no international cricket. Every player in the world would be available,” Warne said in comments published Sunday.

“Instead of everyone trying to copy the IPL because it worked, they should support it and say, you know what, this is a great advertisement for this brand of cricket, worldwide,” he told The Observer in an interview.

“Twenty-four million viewers watched the final. Now there aren’t many sporting events where 24 million people watch it.”

Warne, who captains the reigning IPL champions Rajasthan Royals, praised the IPL matches for their lack of what he called the “other rubbish” - such as fitness test and team meetings.

“The IPL is just pure, intense. You don’t need all the other stuff. When I finished (with Test cricket), I had nothing else to prove. The enjoyment (wasn’t there). I was whinging about a lot of little things.

“If you could just turn up the night before and play, then I’d still probably be playing. But there’s too much other rubbish they carry on with these days, jump tests, fitness things, all this absolute crap.

“To me, cricket is a simple game. Keep it simple and just go out and play. None of these team meetings and dissecting players on computers,” Warne added.

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