London, Apr 26 : The Indian cricket leagues - IPL and ICL - would leave an affect on the domestic career of more than 50 percent cricketers in England, said a survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).
According to it, while 18 percent of first-class cricketers in England would risk incurring a year long county ban by the ECB to play in the next Indian Cricket League (ICL), another 35 percent would consider retiring from international cricket prematurely to play in IPL.
"Most significantly 35 percent of England players would consider retiring from international cricket prematurely to play IPL, primarily to avoid the grind of cricket and spend more time with their family," the Daily Times quoted the ECB report as saying.
It further said that the same percentage (35 percent) of players also believe that soon they would see tournaments such as the IPL and ICL ranking ahead of obligations to their country.
The report canvassed the anonymous opinions of 334 players, including all the current England squad, providing "a comprehensive picture of the current cricketing landscape with particular reference to the Indian cricket leagues, the opportunity they offer and their potential threat to the domestic game."
Currently, the ECB restricts any player who represents the ICL and is likely to ban him from playing in county cricket for a year, but the vast sums of money are keeping the ICL and the IPL the hot topic of county dressing rooms up and down the country.
The report said: "Almost 100% of players see Indian cricket leagues as an attractive option and are hoping that a window in the Future Tours Programme (FTP), and scheduling that doesn't conflict with the domestic season, can be created for them. 36 players (11 per cent) have been approached to play in either the ICL or current IPL tournaments, with 27 players targeted specifically by the ICL."
It added: "Players believe the Twenty20 format and the newly formed Indian leagues create a level of threat to the fabric of the game as we currently know it. The restrictions put in place by the ECB prevent a player from participating in county cricket for 12 months if they play in the next 'unauthorised' ICL tournament in October, but 18% (60) said that they would sign up for ICL knowing there was a ban in place. A further 27% (90) were currently unsure at this time."
Story first published: Saturday, April 26, 2008, 13:17 [IST]
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