Allrounder comes to end of first stint in India May 10, 2008

Mascarenhas believes more behind IPL rejections

Cricinfo staff

Out of action: Dimitri Mascarenhas is nearly at the end of his spell in the IPL and has yet to play a match © Getty Images
Dimitri Mascarenhas, England's only representative at the IPL, believes the recent spate of players around county cricket saying they have turned down offers to play in India is because counties haven't given their permission rather than the players not wanting to go.

Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, who have both been in action for England Lions at the New Zealanders, have rejected IPL offers saying they want to concentrate on their international careers. After his first day hundred at The Rose Bowl, Wright said: "It was never really something I questioned at time, but it's bad timing and all I want to do is play for England."

"I read with interest that Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara turned down the IPL this week but, to be honest, it might not be that straightforward," Mascarenhas said in his Daily Mail column. "I'm speculating here, but I reckon it's more the fact that, at this late stage, their counties have refused them permission to go. I doubt very much whether the players themselves would turn it down.

"I was lucky because my approach came at a much earlier stage and I was able to come to an agreement with Hampshire that kept everyone happy. English players will be here next year, believe me."

Mascarenhas's stint with the Rajasthan Royals, alongside former Hampshire team-mate Shane Warne, ends on Sunday and he has yet to take the field for his franchise. Each team is only allowed to field four overseas players and Mascarenhas hasn't been able to force his way past Warne, Sohail Tanvir, Shane Watson and Graeme Smith. However, he hopes to be back for the semis and final if Rajasthan, who are currently top of the table, progress to the knock-out stage.

"I would love to come back for the finale at the end of May and negotiations are taking place between the Royals management and Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove," he said. "I am very hopeful I will be able to help the Royals lift the inaugural trophy.

"I haven't had much of an opportunity to show what I can do here but if I am able to play in the semi-finals and final it would help earn me a bigger contract in next year's event."

A Hampshire spokesman confirmed the talks were between Mascarenhas, Bransgrove and Paul Terry, the coach, about his possible return to the IPL.