Modi backtracks, won't sack Aus players from IPL

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Tuesday denied media reports that the Australian cricketers would have their contracts terminated if they skip IPL 3.

Updated: December 22, 2009 14:33 IST
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New Delhi:

IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Tuesday denied media reports that the Australian cricketers would have their contracts terminated and the domestic teams would be barred from Champions League T20 tournament if they prefer domestic cricket to next year's IPL.

"Media reports appearing today, stating that the IPL is threatening to tear up and throw away contracts of overseas players are absolutely untrue and baseless," Modi said in a statement.

"We are aware that this year a part of the IPL Season 2010 does overlap with domestic tournaments and given that this is a one-off situation, we will be considerate," the IPL chief said.

"While the IPL can ask the players to fulfill their contractual obligations, we want to work out a constructive solution with the consent of all the cricket boards to resolve the issue at the earliest," he added.

It was in stark contrast to what appeared in Australian media on Tuesday.

Last round of Australia's premier domestic tournament Sheffield Shield clashes with the third IPL which starts on March 12 and some of the state teams, like Victoria, are reluctant to release players for the Twenty20 league in India.

Modi had allegedly said they respect players' commitments to their countries but wont' mind if players skip domestic duties for IPL.

"The IPL 2010 season is in March-April, when a lot of domestic tournaments will still be on. This is a one-off situation. The IPL requires No-Objection Certificates from the home boards for players to participate in IPL.

"This was essentially done to protect the FTP (Future Tours Program) commitments. However, this (NOC) does not include domestic tournaments," Modi said.

'The Australian', however, quoted Modi as saying that even though he was hopeful for a solution, he did not rule out terminating the contracts of the Australians.

"A worst-case scenario could mean penalties on such players, including termination of contracts, jeopardising future participation. However, we do not want to walk that path and are hopeful to sort this through discussions with the boards," Modi said.

Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide has already made it clear that he expected his cricketers to play in Sheffield Shields.

"Clearly we will expect our players to compete for Victoria," Dodemaide said.

(With PTI inputs)

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