ICL: Indian Cricket League

ECB aims to balance one-day riches


At a time when the money on offer in Twenty20 cricket appears to have no limit, the ECB is working to try and ensure England’s Test players are suitably rewarded to keep the longest form of the game as the main priority leading into an Ashes year.

As the squad to take part in the Stanford Super Series was named - putting 11 players one match away from becoming dollar millionaires - there are continued talks to formulate a reward scheme for those players who only appear in Test cricket. From England’s contracted list of 12, that includes Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Monty Panesar.

Even the four players who don’t make the final XI in Antigua and the backroom staff will be handsomely paid for their day’s work, but there are still concerns that some of England’s leading players will be tempted by Indian Premier League deals. Before being named captain, Kevin Pietersen spoke of wanting to join the IPL, although he hasn’t talked about it in recent weeks. From the end of October he will be play almost non-stop.

“We’ve had very constructive conversations with the players’ representatives [the Professional Cricketers’ Association] over the last three or four months and they will continue,” Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England board, said. “It’s important to stress that there are significant rewards available in one-day cricket. We are looking very closely at making sure that Test match rewards and bonuses are very much in line with that to maintain the primacy of Test cricket.”

Morris said the window for any England players to take up IPL deals next year was “quite short”. The one-day series in West Indies doesn’t finish until April 3 and the first Test against Sri Lanka starts on May 7 at Lord’s. The next IPL tournament begins on April 10, running until May 29. Even if players are allowed to take part, the ECB want to keep a close watch on them with the Ashes on the horizon.

“As far as the IPL is concerned, we are continuing to negotiate,” Morris said. “We have drafted a document that we are taking forward, saying if players are allowed to go to unauthorised events, then on what conditions they are allowed.

“There are some fantastic opportunities for players at the moment, but we do have a World Twenty20 event coming up next summer and we want to do well in that,” Morris added. “We have to practice and prepare for that, too.”

Only one England player - Dimitri Mascarenhas - took part in the inaugural IPL tournament, playing one match for the eventual champions, Rajasthan Royals.

Source:Cricket News

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