London:The lure of lucre may be too strong to resist but England captain Andrew Strauss wants the cricket board to maintain a hard line over the players' participation in the Indian Premier League to ensure that the strongest possible side is available for national duty.
Strauss sounded worried about players preferring the cash-awash Twenty20 league to their Test career and the English captain and coach Andy Flower would ask England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris to maintain a strict stance on the players taking part in IPL and Champions League, according to 'The Sun'.
"It's a big debate, both myself and the ECB will be very involved. No decisions will be made lightly,' Strauss said.
"We want the strongest-possible England team. For that to happen, players must be fit. The way players are managed is crucial," he added.
Strauss' comments came close on the heels of reports that Kevin Pietersen aggravated his Achilles' injury during the IPL in South Africa culminating in a surgery that ruled him out of the Ashes.
Strauss admitted it may not be possible to hold back the IPL-bound players but the England captain felt ECB should do something to ensure that national interest was not compromised.
"You can't stop players playing in these events on the basis they might get injured. But, at the same time, we have to manage workloads," Strauss said.
Talking about Pietersen, Strauss was confident that the former captain would continue to be England's batting mainstay even in Test cricket.
"The No 1 priority for players is still England. We are judged on Tests at the end of our careers. I think KP will still be playing Tests in four years - he has goals he wants to achieve and the majority revolve around runs and wins for England," Strauss asserted.