South African players prefer Standard Bank Pro20April 6th, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by admin
Johannesburg, April 6 (IANS) The Indian Premier League (IPL) will have to take a backseat, for a change, as South Africa’s star players will turn out for their franchises in the semi-finals and final of the Standard Bank Pro20, their domestic Twenty20 tournament, which clashes with the lucrative Indian version. Although South Africa’s third and final Test in Kanpur ends just three days before the start of the league April 18, the Test players will have to fly back home if their franchise is involved in the local knockout phase, The Times newspaper of South Africa has reported.
Cricket South Africa’s chief executive Gerald Majola said the contracts with players specified they had to be available for their franchises when not required by the national side. “We gave them permission to sign for IPL but only on condition that their franchises had priority,” he was quoted as saying by the paper.
Cape Cobras players Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Ashwell Prince have signed for Indian teams and chief executive Andre Odendaal expects them to play if the Cobras reach the semi-finals.
Titans also said they expect Dale Steyn and A.B. de Villiers to be available for the semi-finals if they are involved. Morne Morkel has opted not to play in the Indian league this year.
Collier backs English version of IPL
London: Despite warnings of the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) over IPL, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier says it will be very hard for England’s top players to take part in future IPL tournaments because of the international schedule.
Collier said that the ECB was preparing to adapt its domestic Twenty20 Cup to attract more leading players and offer an alternative to the IPL. “It is a question of finding periods of the year for this [the IPL] to take place,” he told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek show.
“We are one of the few countries who play in June, that is why our competitions are so successful because we can attract the best players in the world. That is why we believe that an English Premier League will be very successful, including a broad range of cricketers.”
An expanded Twenty20 Cup is on the agenda of the ECB meeting this coming week and changes could take place as early as this season’s tournament in June.
Counties face nervous wait over ICL players
London: Wavell Hinds, Andrew Hall, Johann van der Wath, Hamish Marshall and Justin Kemp will most probably know their county future this week as the ECB meets to decide whether the players, who were part of the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) Twenty20 tournament, should be allowed to play in county competitions.
In their bid to show their solidarity with International Cricket Council-backed IPL, a number of counties are waiting anxiously for the outcome of an ECB meeting Wednesday. The meeting will determine the fate of player registrations that have been affected by the ICL.
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