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Cricket Australia offers three-year contracts to top players in a bid to lure them to skip IPL

CA makes attempt to lure its players away from the Indian Premier League.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 19: Steve Smith and David Warner of Australia celebrate victory during day five of the First Test match between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba on December 19, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Cricket Australia aren't too keen to send their players to the IPL

What's the story?

Australia have reportedly offered their top five players - David Warner, Steven Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to sign three-year contracts to leave the Indian Premier League for good from next year. The ongoing tussle between Cricket Australia and Australia Cricketers' Association reached a new high as Pat Howard seemingly approached these top players with a contract as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. 

However, the report goes on to mention that the players weren't too keen on this and were unsatisfied with the amount given to leave the IPL for a three-year deal. 

BCCI, on the other hand, is venturing options of staging a Tri-Series involving Australia and England in the United States following the success of the T20 series against the Windies last year. The BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, is involved in discussions with his contemporaries in the CA and ECB, James Sutherland and Tom Harrison to check out the possibility of playing a triangular series in the US.

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Steven Smith and David Warner are captains of their respective franchises in the Indian Premier League and earn through contracts as well as advertisers. Warner is said to be worth more than $2 million already courtesy of his IPL deal.

Apart from the CA, the ECB and the CSA are also in talks with BCCI to withdraw their players from the IPL. The ECB refused to extend the stay of their players in the IPL last week while CSA reportedly wrote to the BCCI stating that they would only allow their cricketers to extend their stay in the IPL if the BCCI agreed to the planned tour of South Africa in December and also play the Boxing Day Test.

The heart of the matter

Cricket Australia’s Performance Manager, Pat Howard, reportedly approached Australia's top cricketers including their Test skipper, vice-captain and premier fast bowlers to forgo the IPL in favour of a three-year contract with the board. 

CA hopes that if they succeed in convincing their top cricketers it will reduce injuries, and resolve the workload management issues that headlined Cricket Australia's agenda last year. Unfortunately for the board, the amount offered did not seem to convince Steven Smith and co and the five players have seemingly refused to sign the contract. 

With the BCCI and ICC tussle still going on, Shashank Manohar, the ICC Chairman, has been invited to watch the IPL 2017 finals on May 21 by the Committee of Administrators (CoA). It was the CoA who reportedly asked BCCI to not take an aggressive approach against the ICC resulting in the Indian Board deciding to send its players to the Champions Trophy in June. 

Also read: Pakistan's Younis Khan to coach Afghanistan after retirement

What's next?

With Manohar scheduled to visit India, it will be interesting to see in the BCCI take up its concerns with him. It also remains to be seen if the ongoing discussions about the Triangular series in the United States with Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board will be affected by their policies towards IPL.

Author's Take

While injury concerns are understandable, the IPL is a platform for international cricketers to learn new things, meet and play alongside some of the best players India has on offer. This also a chance for them to play in front of huge crowds and learn more about the subcontinent.

Several young foreign players have come to limelight courtesy the Indian Premier League and the respective countries have also benefitted in identifying their future stars. However, with the BCCI-ICC tussle going on, the concerns of the major members, CA and ECB, in sending its players to the IPL will worry the Indian Board. 

Also read: Jammu & Kashmir gets its first state cricket academy up and running

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