England Players Get 21-day IPL Window


London, Jan 23: England's cricketers will be allowed to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League for 21 days of the six-week competition, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Thursday.

The ECB confirmed on its website (www.ecb.co.uk) that the 12 players under its control had signed their 12-month central contract deals which stipulate the opportunity to play in the competition.

"Contracts have been signed by the players and we are waiting on the IPL to come back with confirmation," all-rounder Paul Collingwood was quoted as saying on the website.

England are currently on an 11-week tour of the Caribbean and the 21-day period will start in April, shortly after the tour ends.

The ECB said those players who are signed up by IPL franchises would not be available for the round of County Championship matches ending on May 1 and May 2.

However, they will be available for the first test against the West Indies at Lord's on May 6.

Sean Morris, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, told Sky Sports News the decision would benefit the game in England.

"I think the players can thank the IPL and the ECB for being flexible and allowing them to participate," Morris said.

England's centrally contracted players did not play in the inaugural staging of the multi-million dollar Twenty20 event in India last year.

Over $1.7 billion was spent on buying the eight franchises for the 2008 tournament with a further $40 million laid out to attract the world's leading players to the league.

The ECB will also allow those players who do not have central contracts a 28-day period to participate.


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