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Aussies may retire to play IPL: agent
February 13, 2008 12:55 IST
Sending a strong signal to Cricket Australia, Indian Premier League's agent Neil Maxwell has warned that players may take premature retirement or simply walk away if they are not allowed to take part in the BCCI-backed lucrative Twenty20 venture.
Maxwell, who manages Brett Lee [Images] and Mike Hussey, said if the conflicting issues are not resolved, the lure of money may persuade players to opt for the IPL instead of their national teams.
"The cricket world is going to have to respond to the IPL, given the magnitude of it," Maxwell said.
"I know [Australian Players' Union chief] Paul Marsh made the logical suggestion that ultimately there needs to be a six-week window carved out of the playing itinerary, the Future Tours Programme.
"Otherwise players will be leaving. Players will be retiring. Unfortunately at the moment we have a conflict. If that is taken out, there won't be conflict," Maxwell was quoted as saying in The Courier Mail.
IPL chairman Lalit Modi has already said that global protection for CA's sponsors would not be given and has set a Sunday deadline for the players to sign the contracts.
The clause which requires a 'No Objection Certificate' of the respective boards has also been waived to facilitate the star players to take part in the franchisee auction.
Australia's top players were expected to miss the inaugural IPL, starting April 18, because of the scheduled tour of Pakistan, but that could change if the already threatened series is postponed.
CA does not have an issue with Adam Gilchrist's [Images] decision to retire and play in the IPL as he is 36 and had been on the international circuit for more than a decade.
But there are concerns that other established players, especially those in their early 30s, could quit to make as much money, if not more, in 44 days' work in the IPL as they would by playing for Australia, the report said.
Maxwell, heading home to Sydney after attending an IPL stakeholders meeting in India, said cricket needs to follow the lead of football's English Premier League.
"Every other sport does it now. It carves out windows for other representative tournaments. It carves out windows for players to go and play for their country."
Maxwell suggested there would be a "club versus country" debate among players unless CA provided its top 25 players with extended contracts, the report said.