IPL too great a temptation for players to refuse: agent

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Canberra, Feb 13 (UNI) The Australian-based agent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Neil Maxwell, has warned the cashed-up tournament, backed by the mighty BCCI, was too great a temptation for some players to refuse.

''The cricket world is going to have to respond to the IPL given the magnitude of it,'' Maxwell was quoted as saying by the local media.

''I know (players' union boss) Paul Marsh made the logical suggestion that ultimately there needs to be a six-week window carved out of the playing itinerary, the Future Tours Program,'' he added.''Otherwise players will be leaving. Players will be retiring. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have a conflict.

''If that is taken out, there won't be conflict.'' Maxwell further stated that cricket needed to follow the lead of soccer's English Premier League.

''Every other sport does it now,'' he said. ''It carves out windows for other representative tournaments. It carves out windows for players to go and play for their country.'' Maxwell, who manages Brett Lee and Mike Hussey, suggested there would be a 'club versus country' debate among players unless Cricket Australia (CA) provided its top 25 players with extended contracts.

Players currently have one or two-year deals and have pledged their loyalty to CA - for the time being.

The CA is concerned that players who are in their early 30s, could quit and make as much money, if not more, in 44 days work in the IPL than they would by playing for Australia.

There is a flimsy clause in IPL contracts that says players cannot take part in the tournament until two years after their international retirement, but CA knows this would not stand up in court where it would be deemed as a restraint of trade.

IPL Chairman Lalit Modi has already said that global protection for CA's sponsors would not be given and has set a Sunday deadline for the players to sign the contracts.

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