Thursday, March 13, 2008

Australians more defensive than before: Tendulkar

The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has said the Australian players are likely to be allowed to participate in the initial stages of the Indian Premier League before beginning preparations for their tour of West Indies, which begins in May.

The ACA said Cricket Australia indicated there would be no objection to players taking part during the first 14 to16 days of the IPL Twenty20 tournament, which begins on April 18. However, they would have to return to Australia for a training camp before leaving for the West Indies in the second week of May.

"I don't think there will be a problem,"
ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said.
"Certainly based on our discussions with Cricket Australia to date I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be able to play in the IPL, assuming there are no other commitments to Cricket Australia."

Australia coach Tim Nielsen also wasn't averse to the players taking part in the IPL.
"As long as it fits in and Cricket Australia is comfortable with it, I don't have any problem,"
Nielsen told the Age.
"I always encourage guys to be playing county cricket when it fits in because it is nice to be playing competitive and organised cricket. It is probably the best preparation they can get to put their bodies through those sorts of workloads.

However, the CA spokesperson Peter Young said the first priority was to ensure the team had adequate preparation for the tour of West Indies. Australia are scheduled to play a tour match in the Caribbean on May 16 ahead of the first Test in Kingston from May 22.

The Australian cricketers were available to play in the IPL after CA postponed the tour of Pakistan, which was scheduled for April, due to security concerns.

However, CA chief executive James Sutherland had said that the postponement of the Pakistan tour did not guarantee the players' availability for the IPL because it may clash with practice ahead of the trip to the West Indies.

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