SYDNEY: The Australian Cricket Board offered long-term contracts to five of its most valuable players in exchange for not playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) from the next season. As per the report, Cricket Australia’s move to offer three-year deals to star players – Steven Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Strac and Josh Hazlewood – in exchange for giving up their spots in the flagship Indian cricketing league. Taking into account the recent skirmishes of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC), the move seems to be a clear case of backstabbing by the member boards, said the report.
It has been learnt that Cricket Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard met the top five Aussie cricketers and asked them to quit playing IPL. At a time when India is getting cornered by the ICC, it has been making efforts to balance things with the international cricketing body, but it has to avoid a confrontational approach. The Committee of Administration (CoA) has also negotiated with the ICC a month ago, with regards to government policies and revenue. The CoA is also of the belief that the well-being of cricket should be kept in mind at all times, apart from ensuring that no harm should come to the IPL. It has to be seen how India handles the problem as it cannot afford to let any external policy issue to harm its mega cricketing league.