IPL monitor: Round-up of the day's news April 18, 2008

Missing stars, and more on boycotts

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Missing from action
The opening match of the Indian Premier League is not going to feature Anil Kumble, Dale Steyn, Salman Butt and Misbah-ul-Haq. But this means Bengal youngsters Debabrata Das and Karnataka's B Akhil and Bharat Chipli could get chances.

News agencies boycott
News agencies have decided to boycott the tournament after restrictions on photographs were not lifted by the IPL. The media guidelines state that agencies may not supply photos to cricket-related websites. The News Media Coalition, which includes AFP, Associated Press, Getty Images and Reuters, called the terms "discriminatory".

The official website
The IPL launched its official website - iplt20.com - developed by Live Current Media (LCM), which has signed a ten-year deal for portal rights with the tournament organisers. LCM used to be a domain name company - it owns 110 domain names including cricket.com - but now uses domains as commercial sites.

IPL in FTP
Ricky Ponting has said unless a six-week window for the IPL is carved out of the international calendar, it could have a long-term impact on the game with several players choosing the Twenty20 league over national duties. "If they don't [have an international window], I fear for the long-term impact that it will have on the game," Ponting wrote in the Australian. "Much has been said about the veterans coming to the end of their careers, but what about those players just starting out?"

Ramprakash declines IPL opportunity
Mark Ramprakash has turned down an offer to join the IPL, according to a report in the Times. Ramprakash was approached by the Rajasthan Royals to plug a two-week gap left by the late arrival of Graeme Smith but the move was rejected after consultation with county officials.