Nearly half of the Australian cricketers contracted with their board are willing to give up their international careers for playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) or its rival Indian Cricket League (ICL), a survey conducted by the country's Players' Association has revealed.
According to the survey, the findings of which were reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, 47 per cent of the national players and 49 per cent of the state players responded in 'yes' when asked if they were willing to give up international cricket for playing in the rival twenty20 leagues in India.
"Whilst it is surprising that players would want to quit international cricket to play in a lesser competition, the players' responses highlight how much the pressure, difficulties of so much time away from families, and the restrictions and obligations associated with being an international cricketer can affect their desire to continue playing international cricket for a long period of time," Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) Chief Executive Paul Marsh was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The ACA survey also revealed that the players were dissatisfied with Cricket Australia and 80 per cent of them wanted a change in its style of functioning.
Almost two thirds of the respondents also condemned ICC's decision to remove Steve Bucknor from the Test series against India after the Jamaican's bloopers during the infamous Sydney Test infuriated the visitors, who threatened to abandon the tour at one point.
A whopping 93 per cent of the players surveyed said they wished to continue playing cricket after retirement and Marsh felt the only way to prevent a mass exodus was to make room for IPL in the international calender.
"Cricket needs to carve a window out of the Future Tours Program for IPL, ICL or any other Twenty20 event that emerges, so that players won't be lost to international cricket. Cricket has the choice as to whether it competes or co-exists with these leagues and if it chooses to compete it may well lose many of its players," he said.
However, CA chief James Sutherland felt creating a window for IPL would eat into the seasons of several teams.
"These are major issues for everyone to consider before they jump at a window," Sutherland said.