White faces state versus IPL choice
Cameron White, the Victoria captain, has a difficult financial decision over the next two weeks as he decides between leading his state in the Sheffield Shield final or playing in the lucrative IPL. The Bushrangers hold a three-point lead at the top of the table and are on track to reach the decider despite a one-point deduction for a slow over rate, leaving White to weigh up a state versus franchise dilemma.
If White, who is signed by Bangalore on US$500,000 a season, delays his entry until after the March 17-21 domestic final he would miss five IPL games, which would cost him up to US$180,000 in lost match payments. ''I can play in the Shield final and then go to the IPL if that's what I choose to do,'' White said in the Age. ''But I don't have to do anything for another month yet. I'm not interested in making a decision either way just at the moment. I'll just take all the [security] information in and see what happens.''
White, who is currently with the one-day team in New Zealand, led Victoria to the Shield last season, but his side lost the one-day final to Tasmania on Sunday without their internationals. Brad Hodge and Dirk Nannes, who were part of the 2008-09 win, have both retired from first-class cricket and plan to take part in the entire IPL campaign.
The security fears of the Australians appear to have eased following a threat from a group associated with al-Qa'ida. Damien Martyn, the former Australia batsman, has a contract with Rajasthan Royals, and has left for India.
"I have a child and a family to consider," he told the Herald Sun. "Do you think I'd be going or for that matter, Warne, Gilchrist, and Hayden, if we thought it was high risk? The reports we've received suggest nothing has changed.
"I have the utmost faith in officials to ensure our safety and welfare is top priority. There are no guarantees. Bombs can go off anywhere and we've been on Ashes tours when bombs have exploded."
The paper reported Matthew Hayden would travel with his own security officer while Darren Lehmann, the Australian Cricketers' Association chairman, is expected to coach Deccan Chargers. This is despite the union having reservations about the security arrangements for the tournament beginning on March 12.