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Ponting worried about 'dangers' of IPL lure

Ricky Ponting is concerned lucrative offers from the Indian Premier League could encourage top international players to retire too early

Cricinfo staff

Adam Gilchrist is likely to be a star attraction in this year's Indian Premier League, but Ricky Ponting is more concerned about the potential for the league to lure younger men away from their international careers © Getty Images
Ricky Ponting is concerned lucrative offers from the Indian Premier League could encourage top international players to retire too early. He says the game's governing bodies should consider clearing a space on the hectic Test and ODI schedule to allow players to take part in the tournament without giving up their existing careers.
"I think there are some dangers there to tell you the truth," Ponting told AAP. "If a guy is approaching the end of his international career anyway, and being able to play 44 days and stay in one form of the game I'm sure is very attractive.
"Particularly if they have families and they are getting a bit sick and tired of the travel you do with international cricket, I am sure that is appealing to some. There are some programming issues the ICC and the boards are going to have to look at, maybe carving out a window each year where this tournament can sit in."
Ponting and several of his Australian team-mates are keen to take up IPL deals provided the competition does not clash with their national duties, which this year include a possible tour of Pakistan when the tournament is on. Cricket Australia is working with the Indian board to determine whether its contract holders will be able to appear in the IPL, which starts in April and has its player auction on February 20.
"We have always said we want to see IPL succeed, but on the basis that it does not compromise the Future Tours Programme or ICC Events cricket," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said. "There is a lot of detail involved in aligning existing contractual obligations with those of this new Indian domestic competition."
Sutherland hoped a resolution would allow Australia players to compete in the tournament "when available". He also wanted the Champions Twenty20 concept to be finalised.
Ponting did not believe Australia players would quit specifically to join the IPL but he said other countries whose cricketers were not paid as well might lose men with plenty still to offer. "Unless some time is given up then we might start losing the 33-, 34-year-old players from international cricket," Ponting said.
Adam Gilchrist disagrees and thinks players with a "genuine passion" would not cut short their careers for the sake of money. However, he does believe the IPL will make it easier for older men - he is 36 and will star in this year's edition - to step down from Tests and ODIs.
"Since the real professional age kicked in, maybe there has been a bit of tendency for guys to hang on a little bit too long," Gilchrist told AFP. "We don't see younger guys getting chances like we used to. It might be an evening out process, as now there is something for the older guys to move into."