IPL is here to Stay, Exciting Time for Cricket: Warne

Sydney, Feb 14:
Australian spin wizard Shane Warne has come out in support of the million-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) and feels that the format should be embraced rather than resisted, the media reported here Wednesday.

In his syndicated column in The Daily Telegraph, Warne stated that the IPL has come to stay and it's a very exciting time for the sport to sell it as a brand.

"I think we all now know Twenty20 is here to stay. Next week, a live auction will take place for 88 players in the IPL competition. And, as we have seen, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the IPL - current international players' possible involvement, sponsorship concerns, TV rights, the amount being paid and the effect on the world game at all levels.

"So, what does all this mean? To me, it's quite simple - it's a very exciting time for the sport and to market the brand. We should all be embracing the IPL rather than trying to fight it."

Warne also insisted that clash of sponsors over IPL can be easily sorted out. And so can the logistics about the availability of players and the concerns of sponsors about them.

"From the international boards' point of view and the bosses around the world at county clubs and in domestic competitions I understand there may be issues about players missing for a certain time or a clash of sponsors.

"But here in Australia, each state has cricket sponsors that differ from our national ones, so I don't buy that argument. This issue can be overcome," he wrote.

Warne agrees that international cricket must be the priority for all boards, but at the same time IPL is also equally important. All the boards and the IPL need to do is to sit and chalk out the futures tours programme taking all aspects into account.

"International cricket for your country must be the No.1 priority, but let's throw the common sense hat on and say the IPL is not going anywhere and it's a wonderful opportunity for players, spectators and all the fans.

"Let's make it part of the international schedule and the ICC and the boards can create a new future tours programme. Let's find a way for it to work rather than finding a way it can't."


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Title: IPL is here to Stay, Exciting Time for Cricket: Warne

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