Lure of IPL sees England squad play for time over signing central contracts
Saturday 05 July 2008
England's preparations for the Test series against South Africa have been disrupted by a dispute about central contracts and the Indian Premier League. With the first Test at Lord's only five days away, players are refusing to be pushed into signing new deals, not due to begin until September, by next week.
The England and Wales Cricket Board's urgency is explained by the presence in London of several agents acting on behalf of IPL teams. They are keen to sign at least six England players and will also offer deals to top county specialists.
Sean Morris, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association who has been in talks this week with Hugh Morris, the ECB's managing director, said the new contracts needed to be assessed.
"We don't want to be rushed into this and the players need to make sure they are making the right decisions," he said. "I think it's understood there won't now be any settlement before the Lord's Test."
The ECB would prefer its players not to be courted by the IPL. By bringing the contracts forward – claiming a crowded calendar makes it necessary – it hopes to exert more control.
The players may sign IPL deals before central contracts, with caveats about availability. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff are the top targets but Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Paul Collingwood and Stuart Broad are also being offered deals.
Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, said in Dubai yesterday that IPL clubs were now signing their own players. In the first season they were enlisted from a central pool.
"There are rules about not signing players who turn down central contracts and who do not have no-objection certificates from their own boards," he said, "but this will become a grey area and we live in the real world."
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Modesty of Louis van Gaal makes nice contrast with his old pupil Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid analysis: Toni Kroos control may give extra edge that enables Real Madrid to retain Champions League crown
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts