Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi's claim notwithstanding, West Indian batting great Brian Lara has made it clear that he is not certain to play in next edition of the Twenty20 league and said he needs to be at the top of his game to compete with the best of the business.
Modi recently revealed on his Twitter account that Lara was keen to play in the fourth season of the high-profile event next year.
"I don't know if I can (play next year). It has been a long time since I have played competitive cricket. The standard of cricket being played in the Indian Premier League is pretty high, so I need to be on the top of my game before I think of joining the League," Lara was quoted as saying in the iplt20.Com.
"So for now I am happy watching it," the former West Indies captain added.
However, Lara praised the concept of IPL.
"It is an awesome concept. IPL is into its third year. They had a season in South Africa and this year it is back in India. I like the concept of franchise (-based cricket) with the private investors coming in," Lara said.
"Just like in the English Premier League in England and the Spanish League, you know people are following their clubs. The players are real. It is a great venture and is catching up all around the world," Lara said.
Lara quit international cricket in 2007 and then joined the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL). He played in the ICL for just one season before giving up all forms of the game.
However, since arriving in India earlier this month, Lara was busy with various IPL-related events and was spotted at the Eden Gardens on Sunday when Kolkata Knight Riders played Royal Challengers Bangalore.