IPL will be a boon for ageing players: Gilchrist

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Canberra, Feb 13 (UNI) Retiring Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist said the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) could be an excellent transition into retirement for ageing players.

''There's probably been, since the real professional age has come in, maybe there's been a tendency for guys to hang on too long and we don't see younger guys getting in as young as they used to,''Gilchrist said.

''So it might be an evening out process, now there's something for the older guys to move in to. That Twenty20 format is just entertainment, I don't see that as a cricket career.

''It's part of a greater cricket career but that segment is entertainment now and I think everyone identifies that,'' he added.

Gilchrist said he believed the allure of international cricket would overcome the temptation to retire early in order to earn quick money in the IPL.

''I understand the fear of that happening but I really believe what motivates players to take on the journey to play for your country - it comes from more than just the financial side of it and the glitz and glamour,'' he said.

''It's a genuine passion and if you don't have it you are going to get found out. For guys who have done that and had a taste of it (international cricket), then will they get tempted? I don't think so, I think they'll have genuine desires to fulfil their career, to make sure they get every bit out of their international career as possible.'' Stating that the IPL has the potential to change the existing structure of cricket, he said, ''This might be the beginning of a total change in the cricket structure as we know it. It may not, it might just be another tournament, but we've got to give it time.'' Gilchrist dismissed suggestions that the commercial complexities between the IPL and Cricket Australia had the potential to damage the sport.

''I'm not sure anyone's trying to dud anyone else. Far from that, I think it's just teething problems,'' he said.''It all came about very quickly and it's just going to continue to take time and maybe a trial and error process before we know exactly where the land will lie.'' He admitted he is just as confused as everyone else about the Twenty20 Indian Premier League as planning for the tournament gains momentum.

''I'm like everyone else. It's changing every day almost so I'm just trying to keep up with it and then make decisions based on the facts we have at the time," Gilchrist said. ''I'll be watching with interest myself next week when it all comes to a bubbling point.

We are all trying to keep up with it.'' UNI XC AB RKM BD1543

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