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IPL should not discount retired players: Wessels

cricket Updated: May 17, 2009 15:23 IST

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) should not discount the contribution that retired cricketers can make to the Twenty20 tournament, former South African captain Kepler Wessels said in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Wessels wrote in his column in the weekly Sunday Times: "Although I agree that the IPL should always give preference to active international stars, they should not discount retired players."

The management of the IPL have previously stated that their league is not a "retirement haven", regarding the involvement of current international players as being critical to maintaining high standards in the game.

"It depends very much on the individual. Players who are physically in top shape, mentally determined to make a contribution on the field and pass on their experience will be an asset to any team," Wessels said.

Wessels cited as examples the performance of Mathew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in the five-week IPL II which is reaching a climax here.

"After a tough time during the series in Australia against South Africa, Hayden came in for some harsh criticism for a player who has given such terrific service to his country.

"In the end his form suffered and Hayden wasn't the player of old. So it came as no surprise he announced his retirement after that series.

"Clearly his burden has been lifted and he is playing as well as ever with amazing consistency (for Chennai Super Kings)."

Wessels said Gilchrist has been leading the Deccan Chargers strongly: "He has lost little of his batting or keeping skills and could easily still play at international level."

On Warne, Wessels added: "He doesn't have the same consistency, but is still capable of bowling four good overs in a keenly-contested environment. His captaincy is a real bonus for the Rajasthan Royals."