Keen on IPL, England players hold back ECB contracts

As if endorsing Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi’s view, England cricketers, who have been cleared to play in this year’s IPL, have refused to hand over their signed central contracts to their employers until they get the guarantee about their availability for the Twenty20 tournament next year.

England and Wales Cricket Board have cleared the way for its players to take part in this year’s Indian Premier League by granting a 21-day window which paved the way for the England cricketers to sign their central contracts.

But now it has come out that the players and the ECB still have issues to settle, and the IPL continues to offer a potentially damaging distraction as the team prepare for the opening Test in the West Indies, according to a report.

Modi has said he wanted a two-year commitment from the players who are hoping to be bought in next month’s auction.

Sean Morris, chief executive of Professional Cricketers’ Association, said the players wanted a commitment from the ECB which the Board cannot do because of clash of schedules.

ECB, however, are in a difficult position to offer a commitment because the dates for the 2010 IPL have not been released. If the 2010 IPL is played in its usual slot in April-May it will clash with World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and England’s home Test series against Bangladesh.

“The players have signed the contracts but they are on my desk and I am holding on to them until we get resolution on this. The players have asked me to make sure the finer details are all in place before they are released,” Morris said.

“It is up to ECB and BCCI to organise fixtures going forward that leave a window for IPL so there is not a clash for 2010,” Morris was quoted as saying by Telegraph Sport.

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