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Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Mascarenhas joins Indian league

Dimitri Mascarenhas
Mascarenhas is not centrally contracted with the ECB

Dimitri Mascarenhas has become the first England player to be signed by the Indian Premier League.

The 30-year-old has been recruited by Jaipur for 50,000 in the competition's latest auction and will play for part of this summer and the next two years.

Hampshire have also revealed that Mascarenhas has signed a new two-year contract with the county side.

Though sanctioned by the world governing body ICC, the lucrative IPL has caused huge controversy.

The IPL Twenty20 tournament - which starts on 19 April and ends on 1 June - is already estimated to have earned Indian cricket's governing body, the BCCI, $1bn (497m) from selling franchises and broadcasting rights.


The IPL was set up as a rival to the non-ICC sanctioned Indian Cricket League.

Mascarenhas recently featured in England's one-day series in New Zealand and hit four sixes in a row in one of the Twenty20 matches - but is yet to play in a Test.

Hampshire have revealed that Mascarenhas will play in the IPL from 12-26 May this summer and the whole of the competition in 2009 and 2010.

In return, Hampshire and the IPL have agreed the following:

  • Financial compensation for the time he will be away from Hampshire.
  • Priority for Hampshire in the event of a clash of teams in any future 'Champions League' of Twenty20 cricket if Jaipur and Hampshire were to meet.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove says he is delighted by Mascarenhas' new deal with the club.

"I have been in dialogue with Dimi regarding this issue since November and I am delighted that we have been able to agree these terms," said Bransgrove.

"I am joined by the rest of his colleagues at Hampshire in wishing him every success in this new venture."

Mascarenhas will miss six matches for Hampshire this season, comprising five Friends Provident Trophy matches and one County Championship match.

If a guy is approaching the end of his career, being able to play 44 days I'm sure is very attractive

Australia's Ricky Ponting

As he player is not centrally contracted with England - the English game's governing body, the ECB, is not directly involved.

An ECB spokeswoman told BBC Sport: "Obviously the ECB is going to monitor this and is in constant dialogue with counties, but for now it's a matter for Hampshire."

Hampshire have been badly affected by the new Twenty20 tournaments in India, with skipper Shane Warne having already signed to captain and coach Jaipur.

It is also unlikely their overseas player for 2008, New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond, will be permitted to play due to his involvement in the rebel ICL.

Amid a host of star names including Adam Gilchrist and Rahul Dravid, India one-day skipper Mahendra Dhoni attracted the highest price in the opening bidding at the IPL's inaugural auction in February.

Sourav Ganguly
The IPL bidding auctions have attracted unprecedented interest

Jaipur were the biggest spenders at the IPL's second auction, also signing Australia all-rounder Shane Watson (62,500), South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel (30,000) and Pakistan paceman Sohail Tanvir (50,000).

Despite the large attraction of the competition, a number of leading players and officials have voiced their worries on the effect it could have on world cricket.

Each player's IPL contract is guaranteed for a three-year period by the BCCI and the biggest international stars will be able to earn huge amounts of money in a short space of time.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who has signed to play in the IPL, said he fears it could entice top players to retire early.

"If a guy is approaching the end of his career, being able to play 44 days I'm sure is very attractive," he said.

"They have families and can get a bit sick and tired of the travel."

England batsman Kevin Pietersen ruled out playing in the IPL after an approach, insisting that no amount of money would tempt him.

see also
Bond seeks Indian leagues clarity
06 Mar 08 |  New Zealand
Cricket's new order
29 Feb 08 |  Cricket
Pietersen rebuffs Indian offers
29 Feb 08 |  England
Will India's cricket league work?
27 Feb 08 |  South Asia
Aussie stars join Indian League
31 Oct 07 |  International Teams
Pollock, Shoaib join India League
16 Oct 07 |  International Teams
Pakistan stars join Indian league
20 Aug 07 |  Pakistan

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