IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Rival captains say IPL won’t distract players


smithBoth Australia and South Africa have been told to ignore the possible distraction of the IPL and concentrate on their battle for the No. 1 one-day ranking. The rearranged Twenty20 tournament is preparing for its start and the international teams could run into some of the IPL franchises in Cape Town next week.

However, Ricky Ponting, whose side took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, said the moment any outside issues emerged they would be addressed. “I’d like to think that the guys have solely got their minds on what they need to have their minds on for the next couple of weeks,” Ponting told AAP. “The IPL will start up once our tournament is over. Whenever you are representing Australia, if you have a clouded mind on anything at all then you are not going to play your best cricket.”

Ponting said he had not heard any talk within the team about the IPL. “We know that we’ve got a lot of guys coming out from Australia who will be arriving in South Africa very soon to start their preparations for the IPL,” he said. “The moment I hear any of that stuff creeping in, it will be addressed.”

Australia are currently ranked No. 2 and will try to reclaim top spot in the one-day rankings over the next two weeks. “They will be the motivating factors for us, nothing to do with the IPL,” Ponting said. “All the money and contracts have been sorted anyway. Now it’s just a matter of representing your country the best way that you possibly can.”

Graeme Smith’s men have a greater challenge to ignore the hype as the event is being staged in their backyard. “With the fact that it has come here to South Africa, it has impacted a lot more on the players at home,” Smith said. “They have had probably a lot more involvement in terms of information for the respective teams.

“I know Rajasthan join in Cape Town in Monday. I have had an involvement in that. Our focus is now on South Africa for the next two weeks and making sure our performances are of top standard here. Ultimately South Africa comes first.”

Source:Cricket News

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