Peter Siddle opts for country over IPL T20

The Indian Premier League riches have failed to enthuse rising Australian pacer Peter Siddle, who has opted out of the cash-awash Twenty20 event to ensure peak fitness for national commitments.

The 25-year-old, who has played 16 Tests and 12 One-dayers, said his priority right now is to cement his place in the national team and he doesn’t want to exhaust himself by playing in the IPL.

“The offer was there to go over but my decision is to give this year a miss and just concentrate on trying to play as much cricket as I can for Australia,” Siddle was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

“That’s my No. 1 goal, what I want to do. There are a big couple of years coming up and what I want to do is try and play every form (of cricket for Australia),” he added.

“I think that period in the schedule we’ve got is a good time to rest up, get the body fully fit and ready for the big six months we have after we play New Zealand.”

Siddle joins stars like national vice-captain Michael Clarke in keeping away from the league, which is scheduled from March 12-April 25.

There are 29 Australians playing across eight IPL franchises, although that list includes retired stars like Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds.

Siddle said the IPL offers good money but the lure is just not good enough for him to let go of a chance to recharge his batteries ahead of a busy season.

“It’s a lot of money, but the tough bit is missing a game for Australia. I don’t want to do that,” he said.

“It was bad enough missing that one Test over in Perth. I don’t want to miss any more games for Australia so I think this is the best way to go,” he added.

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