Oz players' retirement from first-class cricket highlights a disturbing trend: Berry

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Melbourne, Feb 21(ANI): Former Australian cricketer Darren Berry has voiced concern over how certain Australian players have elected to put their lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) responsibilities ahead of the Sheffield Shield tournament.

The views come after fast bowler Dirk Nannes and right-handed batsman Brad Hodge, both representing Victoria, retired from first-class cricket to focus on limited-overs matches.

"I am not sitting in judgement of their decision, but highlighting a disturbing trend. Playing for your state or country seems to have been superseded by the opportunity to win contracts overseas. At present, it is mainly those in the twilight of their careers who are opting out of the longer formats to increase their longevity in Twenty20 and beef up their bank accounts," Barry wrote in an article for The Age.

"It's not their fault, it's just the way things are in 2010. The big concern is that many younger players also have their eyes on the pot of gold as opposed to the prestigious green and gold."

"Some will bemoan the decisions of Hodge and Nannes to walk mid-season or, in Nannes' case, at the business end of it, but the reality is, if put in the same position, most would do the same thing. The big issue is the clash in the timing of the two competitions," he added.

Berry further believes that the IPL and spinoff Twenty20 tournaments will continue to attract players in the twilight of their careers.

Earlier, Nannes, a highly valued member of the Indian Premier League's Delhi Daredevils side, said that he realized the risk of missing even one season of the IPL through injury would have significant financial implications for his family, including two children under five.

"I'm in a very fortunate position where I'm good at a form of the game that's quite lucrative ... and you also think about what's a good business decision. In cricket your business is staying on the park, playing cricket and doing what's best for you and your family. If you didn't think about that you're stupid, really. I'm not saying that's the only basis of my decision, but it's certainly one of the reasons," Nannes said. (ANI)

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