IPL won't harm cricket: Gilchrist

Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist says the IPL, slated to start in April, will not impinge on well being of the game.

updated: April 17, 2008 07:21 IST
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Retiring Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist has said that the Indian Premier League (IPL), slated to start in April, will not impinge on well being of the game.

"I understand the fear of that happening, (but) I just really believe what motivates players to take on the journey, you have got to take and endure and enjoy to play for your country, it comes from more than just the financial side of it," Gilchrist told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The 36-year-old is set to become one of the lucrative league's biggest stars when he bows out of the international game after the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, but insists money will not motivate the world's leading players over Tests and other national duties.

While participating players will earn big in the multi-million dollar league, Gilchrist expected IPL to have an entertainment focus.

"We see players at my age, there is going to be a natural transition from international cricket.

"Probably when the real professional era has kicked in there has been a bit of a tendency for guys to hang on too long, and we don't see younger guys getting in as young as we used to. It might be the evening out process that there is something for the older guys to move into," he said.

Australian players are yet to be assured of participating in IPL because of a sponsorship row and ongoing talks between the Indian and Australian boards.

Gilchrist and retired trio Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer are the only Australians likely to take part in the entire IPL campaign.

Cricket Australia (CA), which does not want its players endorsing sponsors in the IPL which would compete with its own sponsors, admits it is concerned its players might not take part due to India's hard-line stance.

The IPL is adamant it will not provide protection for any sponsors, and chairman Lalit Modi has reportedly given Australia's players until Sunday to sign or face a three-year ban.

More than 80 players from across the world will be auctioned off to the eight IPL franchises Wednesday, and Australia's world champions are in high demand.

"It's bloody hard work and a lot of midnight oil will need to be burned for it to work," CA spokesman Peter Young said.

"We have got a lot of concerns, a lot needs to be done quickly before we can feel comfortable."

However, Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh was hopeful parties could reach an agreement before the weekend.

Even with clearances, the only way Australia's Test players can compete this year is if their scheduled March-April tour of Pakistan is cancelled or postponed because of security concerns.