Sydney, Feb.13 : Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has appealed to cricketers to embrace the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition wholeheartedly.
In an article for FoxSports, Warne said that the Twenty20 competition at the international level is here to stay, and players would be unwise to ignore the opportunity of earning mega bucks in a sport that they all loved and played with full heart.
"In just a week's time a live auction will take place for about 88 players who are going to take part in the Indian Premier League competition. As we have seen, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the IPL - current international players' possible involvement, sponsorship concerns, TV rights, the amount being paid and the effect on the world game at all levels. To me, it's quite simple - it's a very exciting time for the sport and to market the brand. We should all be embracing the IPL rather than trying to fight it," FoxSports quotes Warne, as saying.
Admitting that there were still many issues to be resolved by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the respective cricket boards, with respect to the impact of IPL on the Future Tours Programme, Warne said there was a need for common sense to prevail, and for the boards and the ICC to accept that "it's a wonderful opportunity for players, spectators and all the fans."
"Let's make it part of the international schedule and the ICC and the boards can create a new future tours program. Let's find a way for it to work rather than finding a way it can't," said Warne.
He also said that he was looking forward to playing Twenty20 for the next three years.
"I really believe it's going to be a huge success; the TV rights have already been sold for more than a billion dollars, and it's only going to grow," he said.