Second IPL season will be better: Lehmann

Darren Lehmann, who came out of retirement to play in the DLF IPL, believes the T20 venture would be "bigger and better" in its second season.

updated: May 13, 2008 12:49 IST
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Australian Cricketers' Association President Darren Lehmann, who came out of retirement to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League, believes the Twenty20 venture would be "bigger and better" in its second season in next April and May.

"They have another 12 months to get it right and there will be even greater interest," said Lehmann, who had replaced South African captain Graeme Smith in the first two games of Rajasthan Royals in the cricket extravaganza.

The 38-year-old former Australian player also suggested expansion of international quota in the playing XI of IPL teams and said the competition should be played as a "boutique" tournament.

"They could add another overseas player to rosters and open up the window for all international team including England to play," Lehmann was quoted as saying by 'The Advertiser'.

"We need the best possible outcome so this can happen. I feel a bit sorry for the English boys but think we can work around it to help get things across the line. The IPL should be played as a boutique tournament for international players."

The charged IPL atmosphere and the chance to work with young Indian players has made Lehmann ambitious to coach.

"I am really looking forward to getting into the coaching side of things now," said Lehmann.

"The Royals were keen for me to stay on but I had attend to some things at home. It may happen next IPL season," Lehmann said.

He claimed IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi told him the owners of the eight franchises were happy with the inaugural version of the competition.

"I have had good discussions with Lalit Modi and they can't believe the success of the IPL," Lehmann said.

However, Cricket Australia Chief executive James Sutherland has questioned the long-term prospects of the IPL and its impact on the game.

"It's nice to pay the players well and get big money from television rights and sponsorships, but ultimately you've got to provide a return for the owners or in this case the franchises," Sutherland said.

"As I understand it, the franchisees are starting to ask questions already."