Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pietersen to play in IPL

Centrally contracted England players could not take part in the inaugural edition of the competition due to international commitments, while a string of fringe players, including Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright and Sajid Mahmood all turned down offers to take part in order to remain in county cricket.

Hampshire skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas was the only English player involved the lucrative Twenty20 league, playing a supporting role for eventual winners Rajasthan Royals and there were fears that he could have compromised his England prospects.

But the ECB, having announced a winter itinerary which does not clash fully with the IPL and recalled Mascarenhas to the one-day side for the forthcoming series against New Zealand, now appear to be softening their initially frosty stance.

And Collier now seems to have opened the door to England's top players to cash in on the sub-continent next summer - albeit for a limited period.

"It's never been a question of stopping them (appearing), it's a question of which tournament takes precedent at which time," said Collier on Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"It looks like after the West Indies tour there will be a 10-day window before the players need to report back for the first home Test.

"Clearly that's something the coach, Peter Moores, will be looking at and it will be interesting to the players."

Pietersen, a big-hitting one-day batsman with a media profile to match, would be the pick of the England ranks, while a number of others - notably Andrew Flintoff - would also attract interest.

"It's fairly common knowledge that that IPL would like more of our players to play and, with very close co-operation with the board in India, there is a possibility of players playing in the future.

"But similar to the Aussies who played for short periods this year, it doesn't seem like it could be for longer than about 10 days."

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