IPL is good but playing for country more important: says Cook

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London, May 1 (UNI) Stylish left-handed opener Alastair Cook has said his England team-mates will turn their backs on the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) if they have to choose between the Twenty20 competition and a central contract.

Cook admits that the lure of India is exciting, yet not ''priority''.

''To play with Aussies, South Africans and Kiwis in one side together could be really exciting but first and foremost it's about England,'' the 23-year-old player said.

''I definitely won't be changing. If you can do both it would be great but England comes first,'' he added.

The IPL has overshadowed England's preparations for the series against New Zealand, with the first Test at Lord's on May 15.

The tourists have had their build-up disrupted by five players signing up for the lucrative IPL, such are the financial rewards on offer.

Despite the disruption they have faced, Cook is still expecting a stern examination if they are to record back-to-back series win over the Kiwis.

''We're not taking them lightly because most sessions in the winter against them were very competitive,'' he said adding that ''We managed to win the crucial ones.


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