Modi warns against England IPL ‘part-timers’
Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi has delivered a stark
warning to England’s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff - either commit
to us or forget about playing in the lucrative Twenty20 event.
Both of England’s two most high-profile players are understood to
want to play some part in the franchise competition, which has attracted
leading cricketers from around the world.
But the duo have been effectively barred thus far by the England and
Wales Cricket Board (ECB) because of a fixture clash with England’s home
international programme.And with that log-jam unlikely to be cleared in
the near future, Modi said he did not expect teams to bid for either
England captain Pietersen or leading all-rounder Flintoff in the next
round of player auctions. “Are the franchise owners happy for Kevin
Pietersen to play a handful of matches and then go away?” Modi told
December’s Wisden Cricketer magazine.
“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
Modi said only by guaranteeing their availability for a sizeable part
of the IPL season could Pietersen and Flintoff expect to be involved.
“They need to be there for 15 or 16 matches - substantial numbers of
games. If you ask, ‘Is that practical?’, I don’t think it is currently.”
Modi, vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
said the only way to get England players into the IPL was if the ECB
altered the start date of the English season. “If we can’t agree for the
next year, I hope we can agree something for the next (International
Cricket Council) Future Tours Programme, so we can move our tournament
further forward and the ECB can move their season - so they sit further
Modi also warned the ECB it would have to shift the dates of the
English season, freeing-up players to appear in the IPL, if it wanted to
see top India players appearing in the inaugural English Premier League
in 2010. “The ECB want us to give clearance to 20 centrally-contracted
Indian players to play in the English Premier League,” Modi said.
“But we would be creating competition for ourselves. If we get back
something of value then we will consider it.
But it comes back to the same question - what is the availability of
English players for the IPL?” Pietersen and Flintoff are both currently
touring India where they managed just five runs between on Tuesday them
as England suffered an embarrassing 124-run defeat against a Mumbai club
England’s seven-match one-day international series against India
starts in Rajkot on Friday. After the one-dayers, the teams play two
Tests in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
England’s participation in this month’s Stanford Series in the
Caribbean was explained, in part, by many observers as a way of making
the lure of the IPL less attractive for their players.
But England suffered a 10-wicket thrashing in Antigua at the hands of
the Stanford Superstars, a team made-up of West Indian players, and so
missed out on the one million dollars a man given to members of the
LONDON, Thursday AFP