‘England cricketers want to play in IPL’

March 28th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 28 (IANS) The head of England’s Professional Cricket Association (PCA) Friday said attempts to keep English cricketers from joining the IPL Twenty20 championship in India would backfire because “ultimately, money talks”. “If you are trying to prevent people from migrating for the money, that is not going to work because ultimately money talks - and there is an awful lot of it in the IPL,” said Sean Morris.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has banned players contracted to it from playing in the $1bn-Indian Premier League, saying players who flout the ban risk suspension.

Morris said he is concerned that the ECB is denying players the flexibility to take part in a “truly unique opportunity”.

“The players are very excited by it… if you’re going to restrict players contractually, the issue comes up because the opportunity is so great. Players will begin to look at their contracts and feel that they would want more flexibility.

“There is a wealth of talent out there and quite understandably the value of the cricketer has increased significantly through what is happening in the IPL. It is perfectly natural for any cricketer and for the PCA to want our members to take advantage of that - it is a truly unique opportunity.”

England players who are thought to be on the most-wanted list of the IPL include all-rounders Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood.

England stars are being held back from competing in the IPL championship because it clashes with the schedule of the domestic county season in England.

The only England player to have signed up for the IPL is all-rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas, but he is thought not to be contracted to the ECB.

Morris said the ECB are “looking to protect our domestic game and its revenues through the players and that is a major issue which needs to be addressed immediately. I would like to see a far bigger carrot where players can take advantage of the excitement that Twenty20 cricket has created and have a globally strong domestic event which we could export.”

Morris’s comments came after IPL Chairman Lalit Modi said Thursday that many English cricketers are interested in playing in the IPL championship.

“I know a lot of them are interested but we don’t want to conflict with the English season. If that means we have to move our matches a few weeks in advance, we would be happy to do that to accommodate the English players,” Modi said.

“We would like to see a lot of the English players in the IPL but I cannot commit to them until the ECB actually finds a window and clears them,” he added.

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