India Test series platform to impress IPL franchise owners

England may be struggling in India but pacer Steve Harmison admitted the Test series gave them the perfect platform to impress the franchise owners for mega-buck deals to play in the Indian Premier League.

“It’s like the X Factor. You come out here and if you do well you have a chance of playing in the IPL and I think everyone would be interested,” he said.

“It is an exciting form of the game and the atmosphere for One-day games in India is tremendous so I can imagine it will be the same for Twenty20 and that is the sort of buzz you play the game for,” said Harmison who sat out of the on-going second Test giving way for Stuart Broad.

The likes of captain Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff could attract big bucks in the IPL market for the second season in April-May next year though there has been issues regarding their availability for a full tournament.

Their decision to return for the Test series following the Mumbai terror attacks has also won them many admirers in India.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it has no objection to its cricketers playing in the IPL although the exact dates of their availability is still being thrashed out.

“It is still a way off but every chance you get to impress you want to take,” Harmison was quoted as saying by Mirror newspaper.

The IPL franchises are now ready for players’ auction on February 6 after the new rules for next year’s tournament upped the number of international players allowed per squad from eight to 10.

The franchises will also have a fresh $2 million to bid for new players in the auction.

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