ECB must allow cricketers to play in IPL: PCA

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London, Mar 28 (UNI) Pointing out the irresistible attraction which cricketers have for the Indian Premier League (IPL), Professional Cricket Association (PCA) chief executive Sean Morris has warned the ECB not to prevent English players from joining the lucrative Twenty20 competition.

''I think if you are trying to prevent people from migrating for the money, that is not going to work because ultimately money talks - and there is an awful lot of it in the IPL,'' Morris told BBC Radio Five Live. ''The players are very excited by it and I think if you're going to restrict players contractually, the issue comes up because the opportunity is so great.'' While IPL chairman Lalit Modi has claimed that England players are keen to play in the cash-rich Twenty20 league, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke maintained that the ECB were ''not interested'' in letting the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff take part in the tournament.

But Morris is concerned that the consequences of the ECB not giving their players flexibility could prove to be detrimental.

''If you restrict employees anywhere you will create friction in the relationship and ultimately that will break it down,'' he quipped. ''Players will begin to look at their contracts and feel that they would want more flexibility.

''There is much more opportunity to have successful and happy performing England players if we can create a window to let players perform in the IPL.'' Stating that the IPL has given cricket a much needed shot in the arm, Morris said the players are eager to profit from it.

''There is a wealth of talent out there and quite understandably the value of the cricketer has increased significantly through what is happening the IPL,'' he remarked. ''It is perfectly natural for any cricketer and for the PCA to want our members to take advantage of that - it is a truly unique opportunity.'' Morris also confirmed that they are in regular contact with the ECB even though only one English player - medium pacer Dimitri Mascarenhas - has been signed up.

''We are in constant communication with the ECB and because of the scale of the change we are developing that daily,'' he said.

''We want to create a proactive solution where there is a flexibility which allows players to take advantage of the IPL.

''The ECB need to find a solution and come to a point where they can take advantage of the increase in income in the game because you are a long time retired.'' The 39-year-old also feels that English county cricket needs to adapt to the changed scenario which has emerged after the advent of the IPL and ICL in India.

''I think there is a real threat here, and it's not from the ECB.'' he quipped.

''The threat is from what IPL cricket could do to the England team by decimating it of its star players, and that would have a knock-on effect to the health of the game and the ECB are naturally guarding that.'' ''They are looking to protect our domestic game and its revenues through the players and that is a major issue which needs to be addressed immediately,'' he added.

''I would like to see a far bigger carrot where players can take advantage of the excitement that Twenty20 cricket has created and have a globally strong domestic event which we could export.'' UNI XC AB RAR HS1730

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