ECB chairman insists players will need permission March 22, 2008

Clarke eases fears over IPL poaching

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen has committed his immediate future to England, but will others be lured to the IPL in its second season? © Getty Images

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has calmed speculation that England's top players could be lured into the financially lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

The IPL - which is officially sanctioned by the ICC, unlike the Indian Cricket League - has attracted some of the biggest names in world cricket. Dimitri Mascarenhas is the only Englishman to have signed up so far, largely due to the IPL clashing with the county season, but Clarke insists no player can be poached without the ECB's consent.

"We have a contract with BCCI,'' Clarke told Sky Sports. "In that contract, they're not allowed to take any English players of any kind to play in IPL if there is no 'No Objection Certificate' [NOC].

"IPL will not play any player who has not received an NOC."

Clarke would be powerless to prevent the likes of Kevin Pietersen joining the non-sanctioned ICL, although any player who went down that path could be barred from playing Test or county cricket in the future. Two days ago, the ECB rejection the registration of five county players for their association with the ICL.

"If they obtain a No Objection Certificate from their home board then we're going to consider their cases,'' Clarke said. "I don't think we're telling players they can't earn a living. We're saying here are the rules in our country. Our job is to nurture, to protect and to develop cricket in England and Wales. We make those judgements as to how we go about doing that. We do so with clarity, legally. If people from other countries have different views as to how we're doing that, I'm sorry but they're not in our country.

"We'll run the game according to our regulations and our rules and we expect them to comply. We have no interest in seeing rogue leagues in other countries develop. We have no interest in seeing rogue leagues in our country develop."

Some of England's higher profile names, such as Pietersen and Alastair Cook, have poured water on the attraction of the IPL, committing their immediate future to England. Ali Brown, Surrey's pugnacious batsman, also turned down an offer. However, earlier this month Lalit Modi, the Indian IPL commissioner, said the tournament's second season could be moved in order to accommodate England players.