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Collingwood wants to play in IPL
April 18, 2008 11:59 IST
England's [Images] ODI captain Paul Collingwood [Images] wants the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to relax its stance and let the country's top players turn out in the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League.
Collingwood came out in support of views expressed by Test captain Michael Vaughan [Images] and star batsman Kevin Pietersen [Images] who argued there is no reason for England stars to miss out on the Twenty20 extravaganza.
"I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about the IPL. At the moment we can't play, but players will be tempted. If you had the chance to earn four times your normal money in the next six weeks, would you take it? It's human nature," Collingwood was quoted as saying by British newspaper The Sun.
"Hopefully, there won't be a situation where players have to make a choice between the IPL and playing for England."
The enormous amounts of money being talked about may prompt some players to reconsider their priorities, he felt.
"When there's money like this bandied about, players will make a decision," Collingwood told The Guardian.
The ECB has not allowed its centrally-contracted players to sign up with the BCCI-backed IPL, saying it clashes with the domestic county season.
Hampshire's Dimitri Mascarenhas is the only England player in the league and will turn out for the Rajasthan Royals.
Twenty20 cricket is getting more high profile by the day, Collingwood said.
"You can't say what kind of impact it is going to have. All we know is that Twenty20 is getting bigger and bigger. I really do think this is just the tip of the iceberg we are seeing now."
Pietersen said it is very difficult to refuse the amounts being offered for playing in the Twenty20 leagues in India.
"The sums I've been offered are amazing. It's like winning the lottery. You don't turn the money down."
He pointed out that sportspersons have a limited career span and had the right to ensure their financial security.
"I don't see anything wrong with any of us saying we want to go and earn that kind of money. The people who criticise and abuse us, they're not going to pay my child's school fees, are they?
"I'm not going to play cricket when I'm 50 so, the sums of money I've been offered, it's ridiculous to think that people might knock you for it," the middle-order batsman said.
There is a likelihood of England playing a Twenty20 match against Allen Stanford's Caribbean All Stars with a winner-takes-$20m prize, and Pietersen is hoping to be part of the event.
"I just hope I get selected for it. There'll be some very nervous blokes. There won't be much drinking before that fixture," he added.