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November 15, 2008
ECB officials Giles Clarke and David Collier will meet with IPL commissioner Lalit Modi on Saturday to try and resolve a fixture clash that is hindering the participation of England players in the league's next season in 2009.
England's cricketers haven't signed their central contracts with the board yet, and are awaiting the outcome of the meeting before doing so. "The guys are keen to get the central contracts signed and we are 99% of the way there," Sean Morris, the Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive, told BBC Sport. "We are just waiting on a few little details. We are basically waiting for Clarke and Collier to get back from India."
"Most England players have had discussions with IPL franchises," Morris said. "But the IPL haven't announced their fixtures yet and we don't definitely know England's commitments."
At the moment England are scheduled to play four Tests and five one-day internationals in the Caribbean, a tour which ends on April 3, 2009, after which they host Sri Lanka from May 7. The series against Sri Lanka will clash with the IPL, which is expected to be held between April 10 and May end. There are doubts over the availability of several Sri Lankan players for the tour of England though, because of their IPL commitments, but even if the tour is cancelled, the ECB have lined up West Indies as back-up.
England cricketers had to be available for the majority of the IPL for them to be part of the next players' auction in January 2009. "That does not work for us," Modi said. "They have to be available for a substantial period for them to be in the auction over the next two years. That's what the next contract period will be."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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