ICL: Indian Cricket League

England players must play substantial amount of IPL - Modi


Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has said the chances of England players appearing in the league are slim unless they are available for a significant portion of the 2009 tournament. The England board is believed to have made its players available for 14 days of the IPL as part of a deal in which 20 IPL players will be released for the ECB’s proposed Twenty20 league.

“The critical issue for us is whether it is appealing enough for our club owners to have English players only for a few matches,” Modi, told the Observer. “They must be there for a substantial number of games or for all the matches.

“Are the franchise owners happy for Kevin Pietersen to play a handful of matches and then go away? I don’t think anybody would be happy with that. He wouldn’t add any value and would be more of a disruption. It takes time to gel with team-mates and to become part of team strategy and implement that strategy.”

Modi said it would have been different had the England players joined the IPL in the beginning, before its commercial rights were sold. “Their impact and market value would have been reflected in our broadcast rights or in the amount of sponsorship we could have sold. But we have sold those rights for ten years already. So we in the IPL do not benefit from their addition to the league.”

Sean Morris, the Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive, said he will discuss the matter with the England players and then talk to the ECB. “Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff are keen to play in the IPL, so they will not be very happy with this news,” Morris said. “But they are pawns in a game of international politics between the two boards. Everyone says you need to create an official window in the international cricket calendar to let the IPL happen. What I’m seeing is the manipulation of Test teams.”

Sri Lanka cancelled their tour of England in 2009 to allow their players to participate in the IPL. West Indies are expected to take their place but Morris was doubtful whether any strong team will be available to play England. “Chris Gayle [the West Indies captain] is getting $900,000 to play in the IPL, so what do you think is going to happen there? What are the chances of him coming to play for West Indies in England? It’s not going to happen. Who, actually, will be available for England to play? Go through the teams. Scotland or Ireland? There’s no one else left.

“The reality is world cricket has all the eggs in one basket and we’re not one of them. It’s hurting us domestically with things like the Champions League,” Morris said. “Because Australia and South Africa have a 30% and 20% share, they will be receiving $150 million over the next ten years which they can obviously invest in their players and game. We will be receiving a participation fee of $1.5 million a year. That’s because we’re not a shareholder.”

Source:Cricket News

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