Australia’s foreign minister on Wednesday denied a cricket tour to Pakistan was scrapped so players could participate in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Cricket Australia (CA) made its decision to postpone the tour independently on the basis of security concerns. “I have seen suggestions that somehow the decision by Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board is related to proposed Twenty20 games in India. I absolutely reject that suggestion,” Smith told reporters.
“What was most concerning for Cricket Australia was the safety, security and welfare of their players on any proposed tour.” His comments came amid reports Australia is considering a one-day series to replace its postponed Pakistan tour, even though it would clash with the IPL and put senior players offside.
Australian cricket chiefs announced ON Tuesday that they had called off their upcoming tour of Pakistan after two bombs tore through Lahore, one of the cities where they had been due to play, leaving 26 people dead.
The Australian newspaper said CA now wanted to fill a six-week gap in its calendar created by the Pakistan tour delay and was looking at holding a short one-day series. The newspaper did not name a potential opponent but quoted CA chief executive James Sutherland as saying such a series was “not impossible”.
The IPL begins on April 18 and the scrapping of the Pakistan tour potentially frees up Test stars such as Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds to cash in on lucrative contracts for three weeks before a West Indies tour.
But Sutherland made it clear on Tuesday that players could not automatically expect clearance for the IPL. “There’s a small window of opportunity there for players to perhaps play in IPL,” he told reporters. “But at the same time, we’ve got this calendar issue where players won’t have had much preparation leading into the West Indies tour.”
The Australian said that CA, which receives no revenue from the IPL, regarded the Indian Twenty20 league as a domestic competition and would have little sympathy for players keen to line their pockets.
Blocking IPL participation in favour of a hastily-staged one-day series would likely anger top players already reportedly fuming at CA for a perceived lack of support during a ill-tempered home series against India.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that players had been prepared to boycott the Pakistan series over security issues if CA insisted that it proceed. Australian batsman Matthew Hayden said delaying the Pakistan tour was the right decision.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Australia, IPL, Pakistan
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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