Ponting worried by IPL’s success

June 20th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 20 (IANS) Australian captain Picky Ponting is worried by the immense popularity of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and feels that cricket administrators have to manage the rapid growth of the Twenty20 league to ensure that international cricket remains at the pinnacle of the game. “I’m not taking anything away from the IPL. It was a fantastic tournament and will only get better. I enjoyed the couple of weeks I played. But the ultimate is to represent your country,” Ponting said in his column in The Australian Friday.

Ponting disagreed with his former team mate Adam Gilchrist, who was so taken by the popularity of the Twenty20 league that he said that the IPL could one day swamp Test cricket because of the enormous interest and money involved.

But the Australian captain made his apprehensions clear by saying that he was worried when he heard the news of IPL salary cap being removed so that young players can be offered huge money. He also hoped that Australian cricketers would not dump their country for the love of money.

“I certainly hope that’s not the case. I would not like to see exciting young players from Australia, or any other country, miss having the opportunity to play international cricket,” Ponting said.

He added that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should consider opening a window for the IPL to avoid any clash with international programmes.

“It would stop the need for players to make a choice between playing in the IPL or for their country. I understand that, with the difficulty of international programming, it would not be easy.

“And while a complete window may prove impossible, there should be consideration given to separating the IPL from the international schedule,” he said.

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