ICC will explore window for IPL: Lorgat

ICC has eventually agreed to "explore" a window for the Indian Premier League.

updated: June 01, 2009 07:54 IST
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Admitting that the lure of money alongwith a cramped international calender may push many players to give up their international career for Twenty20 Leagues, ICC has eventually agreed to "explore" a window for the Indian Premier League.

ICC chief executive Haroor Lorgat, however, did not make any promise and revealed the new Futures Tours Programme post-2012 would be on the similar lines as the old one albeit with a focus in the IPL.

"We will explore that. We will look at all things. We are busy discussing the FTP post-2012, and we will have to look logically at what is right," Lorgat said.

"But it's very difficult for us to create a window for a domestic event, because that's not what the FTP is. The FTP is an international basket of fixtures. That's what it is," he said.

Lorgat said the ICC would need to keep in mind that if they created a window for IPL other similiar domestic leagues could also demand space in the international calender.

"The rest of the domestic seasons for every member country sorts themselves out. You could feasibly (create an IPL window), but why would you do it? It's a domestic event.

"If you do it in one domestic season, what about all the other domestic seasons? There could be many others that arise.

The FTP is done by the members for international fixtures," he said.

Despite severe criticism from different quarters, Lorgat insisted he was satisfied with the balance of the FTP and said the new cricketing calendar will more or less be on similar lines.

"If I have got some serious influence on the Twenty20 competition, it should be not much different to what we see today. That's simply because we are very fortunate that we have three viable formats. We know Twenty20 is hugely attractive. We've got to be careful how much of that dosage we pass onto the audience.

"We have to balance in some respect between Test, 50-over and Twenty20. I think at the moment we've got it right. It's attraction is unequalled, and here we are on the eve of a world tournament (World Twenty20)," he said.

He also felt Twenty20 should not be expanded more at the international level in order to preserve the essence of Test cricket.

"What I do believe is that it should be more a domestic form of the game rather than international," he said.

"We've got great forms in Test cricket, being the pinnacle of the game, and the 50-over game I still believe is alive and well. We will see that in due course. I agree with the current balance that we've got with internationals being limited in terms of the 20-over form," Lorgat added.

Lorgat also expressed confidence that majority of international cricketers still held national duty above other committments.

"I have no doubt that there will be some players who will believe that, who would see that (lure of money). But I know there are equally a lot of players who will want to keep their avenues open to playing and competing at an international level.

"There would be some who would prefer or enjoy making the best financial rewards, and there are others who will want a balance between what they make in terms of a good reward and representing their countries," he said.

On West Indies captain Chris Gayle's recent comments preferring Twenty20 to Tests, the ICC CEO said the players' sentiments were wrongly reflected.

"We would be foolish not to recognise that the environment is changing. It was unfortunate that Chris Gayle's comments were portrayed in that fashion. I'm sure on reflection he must be thinking twice about what he said, because if you speak to many, many players - and I do engage with the players - they still recognise Test cricket as the ultimate form of the game.

"Maybe Chris Gayle is appearing in a phase of his life where it is less important to him, but I can promise you that the younger generation of players that I speak to are far from the sentiment that Chris Gayle expresses," he said.