England’s cricket superstars will compensate counties for IPL leave

England’s cricket superstars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff will ‘reward’ their counties, Hampshire and Lancashire, with 10 per cent of their earnings from the Indian Premier League (IPL).

This is obviously a compensation for the counties, who will be missing their stars for the first few matches of the county season, reported the English media.

The English players have been allowed a window of three weeks in 2009 IPL, though the league’s management has yet to officially agree to the window, as they had initially asked for four weeks and no pre-conditions – like making Indian players available for English Premier League which may come next year.

The figure of 10 percent – reached after consultation between the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA), Hugh Morris and John Carr of the England and Wales Cricket Board, besides Rod Bransgrove, the chairman of Hampshire, and his Lancashire counterpart, Michael Cairns – will be a tidy sum.

Sean Morris, PCA’s chief executive, was quoted as saying: “It’s something the players are supportive of. One game’s absence could net a county a fair bit of money, so commercially it makes sense. The counties would probably prefer it that way round than having a player for one game that he might not have played in anyway.”

With rumours of Pietersen reportedly being sought by Bangalore Royal Challengers, who are willing to put as much as $1.5 million for him, the former English captain could earn about $650,000 for three weeks of IPL and that would in turn mean $65,000 for his county.

This could also pave way for future Test programme in England being arranged in such a manner to allow the English players extend their IPL stay to a longer period in 2010 and later.

Among other players, fast bowler Steve Harmison has secured permission from his county, Durham, to join the auction of players in Goa on February 6. Durham could also lose Harmison’s county mate Paul Collingwood who is also expected to be available on auction.

Spin all-rounder Samit Patel has already got permission from Nottinghamshire and Graeme Swann had also asked for similar permission.

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