Indian Premier League April 14, 2008

Mascarenhas predicts English flavour for IPL

Cricinfo staff

Dimitri Mascarenhas believes other centrally-contracted England players will go the IPL way © Getty Images

Dimitri Mascarenhas is the only English representative to have signed up for the Indian Premier League (IPL) but he feels other centrally contracted players will "definitely" feature in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament in the future. The IPL has announced that its second edition will run from April 10 to May 29 of 2009 and Mascarenhas felt the ECB could rest certain players to allow them participate if it conflicts with the English season.

"A clash with the English season would make it harder for them," he told the Times. "The ECB can tell them to rest or play for their counties. For the others, it is up to the counties and they may help their players because it is such a good opportunity. I know that the IPL want more English players. I think non-contracted players will go, like Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara. Luke Wright is a good hitter and, perhaps, Chris Tremlett."

The IPL has divided opinions - the likes of Kevin Pietersen have snubbed it for pride of country - and Mascarenhas, who was bought for US$100,000 by the Rajasthan Royals, was a bit overwhelmed. "I do not know what to expect," he said. "But if you look at the players and the companies involved, I do not see how it can fail.

"Really, it is the experience of being there that grabs me. If I do well, there is the opportunity to earn more next year. Being in New Zealand around the first auction was funny because we heard that their players were listening as things happened. Brendon McCullum went for $700,000, Jacob Oram for $675,000, Dan Vettori for $625,000 and then Scott Styris for only $175,000."

Mascarenhas will spend May 12 to 26 in Jaipur this year, but will play throughout the 2009 and 2010 tournaments. His three-year deal with Jaipur came about after Shane Warne, who he replaced as Hampshire captain, made contact with Mascarenhas following the first round of auctions.

Though he didn't make his international debut till he was 29, Mascarenhas said he was raring to go. "I think I was ready two or three years ago. I was as good then as I am now. My bowling has been consistent pretty much through my career, but my batting really took shape around 2005. Warney told me I had to give myself a chance, not just go out and hit every ball. I know exactly what I am doing now and that is half the battle in one-day cricket."