Dec 19, 2008

Sport - Cricket;IPL puts pressure on Oz players to choose between money, country

Sydney, Dec 18 (ANI): Australian players participating in the second edition of the Indian Premier League, which starts on April 10, could suffer greatly, because the postponed tour of Pakistan has been rescheduled to overlap with the event.

Franchise owners will see little value in signing a player who is not available for the entire series, having now lost the contingency of replacement options, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has also opened the way for teams to sign as many state and county players as they wish, putting greater pressure on internationals to choose between money and country.

The Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday signed New South Wales youngster David Warner to a deal worth nearly 300,000 dollars a year, while Kolkata last week nabbed his teammate Moises Henriques for about 460,000 dollars.

Franchises were allowed to purchase replacements if their international players had to represent their national teams during the first edition of the tournament. That opened the way for IPL teams to spend upwards of one million dollar on players including Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, knowing that they would pay him per game, and sign a back-up when Symonds and the Australian team returned home to prepare for the West Indies tour.

The International Cricket Council has maintained that its future tours program outlined until 2012 should not be changed if international cricket is to remain the priority.

But national bodies, particularly from lesser-performing nations whose players are not well paid, will feel the burden of shifting or scrapping tours to allow their stars to capitalise on IPL earnings.

Sri Lanka recently caved to a 70 million dollars offer from the Indian board - which runs the IPL - to abandon a series against England and instead allow its players to compete in the IPL. (ANI)