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Kirsten blames IPL for India's early exit from World Twenty20

India's coach Gary Kirsten pointed fingers at the cash-rich Indian Premier League for his team's ouster from the World Twenty20, saying it had left the players tired. Special Coverage

cricket Updated: Jun 16, 2009 19:27 IST

India's coach Gary Kirsten pointed fingers at the cash-rich Indian Premier League for his team's ouster from the World Twenty20, saying it had left the players tired.

India, who won the inaugural T20 Worlds in South Africa two years ago, lost both their Super Eight matches to the West Indies and hosts England to be knocked out before the semi-finals.

Kirsten, the former South African opener, said his team was physically and mentally unprepared to defend the title because the cricketers were involved in the IPL.

He also did not rule out asking his main players to withdraw from next year's edition of the IPL in March so that they will be fresh for the next World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in April.

"We had a lot of players with niggles coming into this tournament. A lot of those niggles were picked up during the IPL," said Kirsten ahead of the last Super Eights match against South Africa at Trent Bridge later on Tuesday.

"We lose contact with our players during the IPL because they are connected to and responsible to their franchises.

"The players take a lot of pride in playing for their franchises, but the bottom line is the amount of cricket did not play into our hands.

"The next World Twenty20 is only something like nine months away and we are keen to start setting up our plans and strategies.

"We got it wrong in this tournament and we need to go forward from that."

Kirsten said ordering his players out of next year's IPL was an option he will consider.

"I've seen that happen in other sports, I know in South Africa they do that in rugby union," he said. "Maybe that is something to think of in the future.

"Whether it is possible, we don't know."
BCCI-backed IPL was held in South Africa in April-May after the Indian government expressed inability to provide security because the tournament clashed with parliamentary elections.

The five-week IPL is contested by eight franchises, owned by tycoons and Bollywood stars, who bought the world's leading cricketers for huge amounts.

Kirsten said Indian players should consider resting from the IPL, which he described as a 'club competition' whose standards were lower than the T20 Worlds.

"That is a domestic competition, a club competition in many respects," he said. "While you have got international players playing in the teams, you have got first-class cricketers making up the rest.

"I sense there is a reasonably big gap between what is happening at the IPL level and what is happening internationally (like the World Twenty20)."

The IPL had left the Indian players exhausted, Kirsten added.

"The one thing that did not play into our hands here is that we had a bunch of cricketers who were quite tired when they arrived in England," he said.

"That is not an excuse because we were aware we had a demanding schedule, but we never got to the level of intensity you need to in the international game.

"The standard of cricket and the quality of cricket has been higher at the World Twenty20 than what we experienced in the IPL."

India, who have been on the road since February, are scheduled to tour the West Indies from next week for four one-day internationals.

There was no immediate reaction from the BCCI on Kirsten's outburst against the IPL.

First Published: Jun 16, 2009 09:01 IST