IPL ready to accommodate English players

February 29th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb 29 (IANS) The Indian Premier League (IPL) is ready to bring English players on board in their future schedule after many expressed their willingness to take part in the multi-million dollar Twenty20 competition. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has kept their players out of the IPL citing their commitment to International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme.

IPL chairman Lalit Modi said leading English players have approached him to play in the cash-rich league.

“Most of the English players say they would like to play,” Modi was quoted as saying by BBC Sports.

Modi said he opted against signing them because of international commitments, but did not rule out their future involvement.

“We have a huge amount of pressure from the English players to be participating. It’s not that we could not sign them (but) because it directly conflicts with the English games. Sooner or later we will look at adjusting our programmes while we try to bring our league forward,” he said.

“In the future we will be working with the ECB to ensure the overlap doesn’t take place.”

However, the report quoted an ECB spokesman as saying that centrally contracted players were out of bounds to the IPL.

Modi, however, believes that county cricket will be left trailing by the IPL as the world’s best players choose to play in India rather than England.

“They (players) have decided to sign with us over and above the counties. The counties are going to be deprived of these players going forward,” he said.

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes too agrees that county cricket faces a huge threat from the IPL.

“I think it is inevitable the way things are going that we’ll lose some of our top players. I don’t think we can compete, certainly not financially,” said Cumbes.

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