Ricky Ponting’s absence will not affect IPL

Indian Premier League would not be poorer by the absence of one or two of the world’s top players, said the Twenty20 League’s chairman Lalit Modi to the pull-out of Australian captain Ricky Ponting from this year’s edition in April-May.

“The pulling out of one or two players will not affect the IPL which is much bigger. The players are also chosen by the teams based on their FTP (Future Tours Programme of the International Cricket Council) commitments,” Modi said.

“The IPL is structured around the FTP. It’s designed in such a way that even while teams have a maximum of ten foreign players (on their rolls) only four can play at a time,” Modi said, adding that despite foreign players coming in and going out they had performed well last year.

Ponting, who has been contracted with the Kolkata Knight Riders, has written in his newspaper column that he will skip this year’s IPL in order to focus on international commitments.

“My country comes first and there was no way I could give my all for Australia if I used the only two-week break we have to go and play in India,” Ponting wrote in his column.

Modi said that the IPL schedule was ready but he was waiting for the announcement of Lok Sabha elections by the Election Commission before making it public.

“As and when the Lok Sabha elections are to take place in a particular city we have to schedule the IPL matches in and around that election polling date,” Modi said.

Modi also said that Deccan Chargers have decided to hold two of their seven home matches in Visakhapatnam, with the rest to be conducted in Hyderabad.

On the issue of the one-year ban on Pakistan pacer Mohammed Asif, decided upon by the IPL’s three-member Drug Tribunal, the League’s chief said that it was upto the individual cricket boards to act on such situations when they arise.

“Our rules govern our matches. If because of that there are implications elsewhere it’s for the other (cricket) boards to look into those. Our tribunal has banned Asif for one year,” he emphasised.

Asif has been banned for using a prohibited substance, Nandrolone, during the IPL first season which he later said had gone into his body’s system through the use of eye drops.

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