Lehmann moots jumping on ICL bandwagon

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Sydney, Feb 20 (UNI) Former Australian Test player Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) president Darren Lehmann today confirmed he was considering joining the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Lehmann claims he has received Cricket Australia's support though any current player would be automatically banned for joining the ICL.

''We have discussed it already and cleared up that situation to make sure if it came to that I could play,'' Lehmann was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

''It's a good opportunity to play, playing against guys you have played with and against and yeah, it's really good coin. They're probably the reasons you'd go.'' The ACA and the international players' association FICA believe professional cricketers have the right to consider any offer to earn a living and banning players who join the ICL is a restraint of trade.

''It will be discussed at the executive meeting next week,'' ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said yesterday.

Eight Cricket Australia contracted players, including Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds, accepted offers to play in the IPL along with three state contracted players and the retired Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

A total of 89 players from all major cricketing countries will be available for auction, with Adam Gilchrist one of the most sought-after because his imminent retirement will make him available for the full three years.

Meanwhile, Michael Clark, Mitchell Jhonson and Brad Haddin yesterday decided not to join Indian Preimer League (IPL) as they want to train their focus on developing international careers, while Jason Gillespie withdrew because of contractual problems.

Lehmann advocated the decision by Haddin and Johnson not to join the IPL.

''Obviously, they are going to be pretty busy with international cricket and they obviously want to make sure they are ready to go and play at their peak for Australia each and every time,'' he said. ''They obviously see that as a window to have a break and you certainly can't begrudge them that.'' Lehmann believes the International Cricket Council will find a place in the cluttered program for the IPL.

The IPL players' aution will be held in Mumbai today.

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