English cricketers wanting to play in the Indian Premier League next year may be asked to give away their central contracts by an adamant ECB, which has made it clear that international engagements are top priority.
England team Managing Director Hugh Morris has categorically stated that the England Cricket Board (ECB) can release the interested cricketers for only two weeks as scheduled Tests and ODI programmes cannot be altered. And those wanting to go for the full event may be asked to forego central contracts.
"We will be playing Test matches in the early part of May and clearly that will have an impact on the amount of time that players may or may not go to IPL.
"My understanding is that the ICC, IPL and the ECB have made it very clear from the word go that international cricket takes precedence over domestic tournaments and I think that will be the case. That's the very clear message we get from ICC. I understand that is what IPL think as well," Morris was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Telegraph'.
English players are yet to sign this year's central contracts with the ECB, but there is every possibility of a standoff between players and the Board.
"I think we've made it very clear that we are very happy for the players to have a window of opportunity for the players to play in the IPL," said Morris.
"Last year at the IPL, the Australians were only there for 25 per cent of the time because they had a Test series in the West Indies," he added.
As per IPL rules all cricketers participating in the Twenty20 tournament need a 'No Objection Certificates' from their respective boards.