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IPL is too lucrative to ignore

The club versus country tussle has been a part and parcel of a professional footballers life for decades now. But a similar scenario would have never been dreamt of in the cricketing world a couple of years ago.

cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2010 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent

The club versus country tussle has been a part and parcel of a professional footballers life for decades now. But a similar scenario would have never been dreamt of in the cricketing world a couple of years ago.

However, the emergence of the IPL in 2008 have certainly changed the rules of the game and England all rounder Andrew Flintoff was first to show the way when he preferred to become a free agent and not take up a central contract with the England Cricket Board.

The opportunity to make big money from the seven-week tournament has been attracting a lot of international talent with some retiring from Test cricket to extend their one day and T20 career and even a couple of retired playing putting their hat in the auction ring.

The success of IPL had just given more voice to those demanding a dedicated window for the tournament in the international calendar and Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist joined the ever-growing club on Thursday.

“The ICC and IPL need to sit down and look closer at it (window for IPL),” said the former Australian stumper.

“I am beginning to believe that the players across the globe would like a window to be available because of the glaringly obvious part of a good financial return for players.”

The likes of Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Shane Bond would be missing the initial part of the tournament this year while Australian captain Ricky Ponting had his contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders terminated due to his commitments to the national side.

However, Gilchrist insists that the players are keen to be part of the tournament not just for the financial reasons but also because Brand IPL had grown.

“It is the premier club competition in the world. If the players feel part of that and are desperate to be part of it is only going to help the brand and there is great benefit for the game of cricket.”

And in Gilchrist words, “the reality is that it's a big business, serious business, and the teams want to show how serious they are.”