Sydney, Apr 10: Calling for the inclusion of the IPL in the international calendar, Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) boss Tim May has warned that world cricket could lose some of its best players unless the lucrative Twenty20 tournament is accomodated.
''Cricket needs to go down a path to . . . create a window for the IPL. That will act as a reasonable safeguard from early retirements, but it won't stop all,'' May said. ''It's common sense, otherwise international cricket runs the real danger of losing international players before their time is out.'' Pointing out the vast sums players are being offered in the cash-rich IPL, he said the staggering riches on offer in India are life-changing, specially for cricketers in the poorer nations.
''If you look at it logically, the Australians are probably one of the better paid (teams). There isn't a great differential to what they (CA) are doing and the IPL,'' he remarked. ''It's far different for players from New Zealand, Zimbabwe, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. '' A survey commissioned by the ACA has found 47 per cent of Cricket Australia's (CA) 25 contracted players and 49 per cent of state- contracted players would consider early retirement to play in the Twenty20 tournaments in India - either the BCCI-backed IPL or the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The survey also revealed 93 per cent of Australian players and 78 per cent of state players intended to play in other competitions after retiring from international cricket.