Bopara says he rejected IPL offer

England all-rounder Ravi Bopara says he turned down an offer from an IPL team so that he could concentrate on playing for England.

updated: May 13, 2008 12:55 IST
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England all-rounder Ravi Bopara has revealed that he was offered a contract by an Indian Premier League franchisee to play in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament but rejected it to cement his place in the national side.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) does not allow its centrally contracted players to play in the IPL and Hampshire's Dimitri Mascarenhas is England's only representative in the BCCI-backed tournament.

Bopara, who is not centrally contracted to ECB just like Marcarenhas, said he wanted to look out for an England call up this summer by doing well for Essex instead of playing in India.

"Of course when figures like these are put in front of you it is tempting, but my goal is to play regularly for England," said Bopara, who was named in the England Performance Squad last month.

"I am confident that if I continue to score runs and take wickets for Essex then I will hopefully play for England this summer and for many years to come," said Bopara, who refused to divulge the name of the franchise.

"If I do this, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the financial benefits in years to come."

Bopara has scored 341 runs in three LV County Championship innings and also tops the team's bowling averages with six wickets at an average of 18.