English players keen to join IPL in second season

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London, May 30 (UNI) While the ECB gave a thumbs down to the IPL, the England players are keen to lay their hands on the cash rich Twenty20 tournament as leading players are preparing to use the window between the end of the West Indies tour and the start of next summer season.

The IPL's second season is scheduled to be held between April 10 and May 29. England return from the Caribbean in March, and ideally the first Test of the summer will not be played until mid May, allowing them a four to five-week gap to play in the IPL.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke had earlier made it clear that the IPL will not make an impact on England team.

If all the leading players sign new central contracts with the ECB, they will need permission from the board and their counties.

Earlier this week, a spokesman reiterated Clarke's assertion at the start of the season that the early end to the West Indies tour was to allow players to rest rather than play elsewhere.

But the players' desire to take part in the lucrative IPL might force the board to stand down.

Adam Wheatley, Kevin Pietersen's agent, was quoted as saying by 'The Times' that his client was keen to play in India. ''I think the ECB wants to appease the players.

''There is at least a window now, albeit a short one, so I think Kevin will be able to play in the IPL. He might only play two or three games next year, then maybe a bit more the year after,'' said Wheatley.

Owner of the Bangalore Royal Challengers Vijay Mallya, who despite a huge financial outlay failed to make the last four in the IPL, told the 'Daily Telegraph' that English players were firmly in his sights.

''Some swapping around will have to be done but we will be looking at English players and I have set my team management working on the composition of the squad for next year,'' Mallya added.


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