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Australian cricketers will continue to be part of IPL, assures Michael Clarke

CA has offered 3-year contracts to prevent their top players from playing in IPL.

Michael Clarke Steven Smith David Warner
Clarke has backed the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith to keep coming to IPL

What’s the story?

Former skipper Michael Clarke has insisted that the leading Aussie players will continue to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL). During a press conference to mark the collaboration between Michael Clarke Cricket Academy and newly-opened Aditya School of Sports, the 36-year old backed the crème de la crème of Australian cricket to resist Cricket Australia’s (CA) offer.

Clarke said, “I don't think it's fair for me to comment (on the situation) as I haven't spoken with anyone from CA or individual players. But I can guarantee that I was given every opportunity to come and play in the IPL. CA was very supportive of the decisions I made.

“Unfortunately, I had a lot of injuries in my career which restricted my IPL appearances. I played one year with Pune Warriors and enjoyed the experience very much. And now I am back here commentating. IPL is a wonderful tournament.

“Cricket is bigger than any individual. If Sir Donald Bradman can retire and the game goes on, it doesn't matter who comes in and who goes out. Cricket is the greatest game in the world. But the David Warners and Steve Smiths will keep coming to IPL. They love it over here.

“I don't know of one Australian cricketer who has not had a good time in IPL. I don't think we need to keep talking about that. I am confident you will continue to see Australian cricketers being part of IPL.”

The Background

A couple of days ago, an interesting development came to light. CA reportedly offered three-year contracts to five of their top players in a bid to prevent them from taking part in future editions of the IPL. The move was aimed at monitoring the heavy workloads in an already packed calendar and reducing the prevalence of injuries.

The heart of the matter

Apart from Warner and Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are the others who have been offered such contracts by their board. However, they are understood to be quite discontented with the money on offer. From the aforementioned list, only Hazlewood has not had a taste of the IPL. 

Amidst deteriorating relations between CA and the players, there is even a possibility of the big names going on strike by July. The major bone of contention stems from the reluctance of the board to share a portion of their revenue with the cricketers.

What’s next?

The ongoing pay dispute has come at a time when the Australian players are set to participate in the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy during June. Even though Starc affirmed that the off-field situation would not be a source of distraction, the circumstances are not ideal for the team.

Author’s Take

With IPL franchises willing to break the bank for the top overseas cricketers, there will always be a stable market in this part of the world for the leading Australian players. One can only hope that common sense prevails and both parties manage to find a middle ground.

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