BCCI in talks with English board over contract row

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London, Oct 25 (UNI) England Cricket Board chief Giles Clarke is conducting negotiations with IPL officials to resolve the contract row, which has cast doubts on the participation of leading English players in the cash-rich T20 league.

The BCCI and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are in dispute over a proposal from the latter that they will release centrally contracted players for the Indian Premier League (IPL) only if the Indians undertake to make their players available for the English Premier League, due to start in 2010.

Last year, ECB restrictions forced centrally-contracted players to stay away from the IPL and Dmitri Masceranhas was the only English player in the multi-million dollar Twenty20 event.

Despite all this, Clarke said the players' contract does not bar any of them from playing in the IPL.

''We have made it very clear that we don't see any issue at all with the contracts,'' he told Daily Telegraph. ''We are enjoying friendly, constructive and sensible talks with the IPL to ensure the availability of our players in 2009.'' However, Sri Lanka's scheduled tour of England which starts on May 7, may restrict English participation in the IPL to only a fortnight.

If the two boards fail to reach an agreement, it will come as a blow to leading players such as Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, who are already in talks over IPL contracts.

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