'There should be a specific window for the IPL'
Deccan Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara said playing for the nation is supreme but country vs club situation could be avoided if a window is created for the Indian Premier League in the ICC's FTP calender.
Sri Lankan players, playing in the IPL, were ordered by their Cricket Board to return to the country to prepare for the England tour.
Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, playing for Mumbai Indians, had announced his Test retirement when the SLC asked him to leave the IPL mid-way and return for a rehabilitation programme.
It re-ignited the debate whether players should give priority to country or prefer playing in the cash-rich leagues like IPL.
Sangakkara said such conflicts could be avoided if there is a regular window for the IPL in the FTP calender.
"There should be a specific window for the IPL and the BCCI should look to ensure that enough Test cricket is played," Sangakkara told reporters.
"We always do our best to honour the national contracts. But players should not be asked to choose. The country is always the first," he added.
Image: Kumar Sangakkara
Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela to leave early
Although SLC has agreed to let their play in the IPL till May 18, Sangakkara said he would leave little early for England tour preparations and reports also say that Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene are also packing their bags for an early return.
"We have been given time till May 20. We have a match on May 16 and on May 21. I will return early after the match on May 16," Sangakkara said.
Jayawardene, captain of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, said, "We have to be in England by May 18. Since, there is a match on May 19, I have to see. Right now, I have not decided how to go about it. I have to sort out the dates."
Image: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara
McCullum fit and raring to go
Talking about the match, Sangakkara was forthright in admitting that they need to pull up their socks.
"Every game is important. We have to go out and try not to repeat the mistakes that we committed against Mumbai Indians and improve on whatever we have already accomplished.
"The bowlers should look to hit a good length and the batsman have to build partnerships and capitalise on opportunities," he said.
Meanwhile, the Kochi Tuskers, who had been on a rampage, having registered three back-to-back victories, were stopped by the Rajasthan Royals in their last game.
Jayawardene said hard-hitting New Zealander Brendon McCullum, who missed out on the match against Rajasthan due to injury, will be fit for the clash.
"He is fit and ready to go."
Image: Kumar Sangakkara