Ponting urges CA not to interfere in IPL issue

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Sydney, Feb 7 (UNI) Skipper Ricky Ponting says it would be ''unfair'' if Cricket Australia (CA) creates hurdles for players who want to join the Indian Premier League (IPL).

CA is concerned that its own sponsorship deals will get effected if the players go with the IPL .

Meanwhile IPL chairman Lalit Modi has said the league would go ahead without Ponting and his men if CA pursued worldwide sponsorship protection, and Ponting was not keen on that possibility.

''There are already some globally-protected sponsors of Cricket Australia, there are a couple of them. I don't think Cricket Australia would be able to make any of their other sponsors global sponsors ... If they tried to do that I'm sure the Players' Association would have something to say about it. It would be a little bit unfair if that was the case,'' Ponting said.

Ponting and his team mates do not want their agreement to fall through because of sponsorship row between the CA and IPL. The 33-year-old skipper said he did not find any reason for the Cricket Australia not to clear players to represent the IPL.

''It's a domestic competition, as county cricket is,'' he said.

''There's never been any worry about Cricket Australia releasing guys to go and play county cricket. That's the reason Cricket Australia backed it all in the first place, because it was a domestic tournament and it wouldn't be actually taking Australian players way from their domestic competitions or the Australian team.'' However, their chances of representing the IPL franchises this year depends on whether their scheduled tour of Pakistan goes ahead, as the trip would clash with the Indian tournament. Ponting said players were trying not to even think about the issue.

''We've had a lot on our plate over the last few weeks. The likelihood of us Australian players being able to play this year anyway was pretty minimal. We'll worry about all those other outside distractions, if you like, once this summer is over and done with,'' he said.

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