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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 16:09 UK

England stars set for IPL chance

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen, Harmison and Anderson could all be hunting IPL deals

England players will be free to play in part of the next Indian Premier League season if India release 20 players for the inaugural English version in 2010.

The England and Wales Cricket Board had said centrally contracted players could not play IPL cricket in 2009.

But IPL boss Lalit Modi told BBC sports editor Mihir Bose: "I am informed by ECB chairman Giles Clarke they would be available for the month of April.

"But not for the month of May because they have international commitments."

England finish their tour to the West Indies on 3 April and have no further cricket until 7 May, the scheduled date for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

However, that tour is in serious doubt because Sri Lanka's leading players have been allowed to honour existing IPL deals.

The first IPL season was staged between 18 April and 1 June 2008 and the England players were the only international stars missing.

Ideally they would like the (England) players there for the duration but a franchise would not like to have a player for less than a month

IPL chairman Lalit Modi

"The chairman of the ECB and I have had extensive dialogue," said Modi.

"We will both look at trying to develop a clear window that does not clash with each other.

"The position of the ECB is it has no problem giving a no objection certificate to English players to participate in the next edition of the IPL.

England players can play in IPL - Modi

"But it comes with a few strings attached, which we in the IPL and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) need to review and see if we can live with those strings or not.

"One of the conditions attached is that the IPL and the BBCI needs to release 20 contracted Indian players for the English Premier League.

"The franchises will need the players for a month because they need to build a team. Ideally they would like the players there for the duration but a franchise would not like to have a player for less than a month."

Modi said the IPL and BCCI would review conditions stipulated by the ECB at the next IPL governing council meeting in November.

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

Before succeeding Michael Vaughan as England captain, Kevin Pietersen described not being allowed to play in the competition as "ridiculous".

And BBC Sport understands Pietersen heads a list of English players being approached by the IPL to participate in the 2009 season.

His agent Adam Wheatley said Pietersen was "keen to play" and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) expects a number of players to follow his lead.

The IPL will conduct an auction on 6 February to bring in new players and the PCA is already helping Essex all-rounders Graham Napier and Ravi Bopara with their negotiations.

Significantly, the maximum number of permitted international players in each IPL squad has been increased from eight to 10 - with four allowed in the playing side at any one time.

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see also
Sri Lanka's England tour at risk
10 Oct 08 |  Sri Lanka
Gough in talks over IPL contract
30 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Hick may make Twenty20 comeback
06 Oct 08 |  Worcestershire
England stars eager for IPL cash
23 Jun 08 |  Cricket
New-look English Twenty20 agreed
16 Jul 08 |  Counties

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