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January 26, 2008
Lalit Modi, the chairman and commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has said that there might be some Australian "casualties" when IPL franchise owners start recruiting players. Modi hinted the popularity of Australian cricketers had fallen "dramatically" in India after the controversial Sydney Test, which might deter team owners from signing them.
"We sincerely hope there is no impact [on their involvement in the IPL]. It will be for the team owners to decide," Modi told the Sunday Age. "But there definitely will be some casualties from the feedback we are getting."
Mike Hussey, Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds have all signed expressions of interest for the lucrative ICC-sanctioned league, where the players are expected to rake in big bucks.
Modi also said that India may revise its Test itinerary with Australia in its effort to accommodate more teams in its playing schedule. "Other nations who we play less with currently want to increase the number of matches we play with them," he said. "We will need to balance this in the Future Tours Programme. We cannot increase the number of games India plays in total. So we will have to play less with some and more with others."
The demand to remove umpire Steve Bucknor from the Perth Test and the threat to abandon the tour if the racism charge against Harbhajan Singh was not overturned led to suggestions that the BCCI was flexing its financial muscle to get things done, but Modi said the BCCI respected the authority of the ICC.
"No one country can run the game. We have to all collectively run the game. Unlike in the past, the future for cricket will be best served if all have a voice," he said. "[The BCCI] definitely respects the ICC. It has a big role to play and will continue to be good for the game.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the 4th ODI between England and India at Edgbaston