Indian league lures stars

SYDNEY - At least half of world-class players say they would be prepared to quit mainstream international cricket to appear exclusively in the lucrative Indian Premier League, according to a survey.

SYDNEY - At least half of world-class players say they would be prepared to quit mainstream international cricket to appear exclusively in the lucrative Indian Premier League, according to a survey.

In the Federation International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) report released on Thursday, 52 percent of those polled said they would be willing to quit the traditional forms to pursue IPL riches.

The FICA findings are in line with a recent poll conducted by the Professional Cricketers' Association that half of England's leading players would consider quitting international cricket early to play in the IPL.

World cricket chiefs are meeting in Dubai this weekend hoping to safeguard the game's future amid a lucrative Twenty20 revolution fuelled by the sport's economic powerhouse India.

The FICA survey targeted 105 international players and received 64 responses.

FICA chief executive Tim May said the emergence of IPL and the "rebel" Indian Cricket League (ICL), and thepotential conflict of fixtures, could result in leading players leaving the international game.

"It is important that such conflicts are avoided by the creation of a window in the international programme," May said.

"This is not to say the introduction of Twenty20 cricket is all negative - it is far from that.

"Cricket's biggest challenge is to find a satisfactory balance between the established forms of the game and Twenty20."

Most international cricketers want Test matches to remain the sport's priority and believe the Twenty20 boom will affect the one-day game more than Test cricket, the survey also found. - Sapa-AFP

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