Australians free to play in IPL: Modi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The contracts issue between Cricket Australia and the Indian Premier League has been resolved.

Updated: February 21, 2008 18:19 IST
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The wrangle between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) authorities is finally over and the top Aussie players are free to sign up for the Twenty20 extravaganza, BCCI vice president Lalit Modi said on Friday.

Modi, also the Chairman of the IPL Governing Council, told in a cricket website that the contract issue, which has been the bone of contention between CA and the league authorities, has been solved and decks have been cleared to facilitate the participation of top Australian players in the Twenty20 tournament.

"The issue has been resolved," Modi said.

"Two or three Australian players have already signed up with IPL. Hopefully, in the next 24 hours, this will go down the line. The process has already begun. Now it's just a matter of getting through to the Australian players and their agents," Modi said.

CA was initially reluctant to the idea, fearing allowing its players to participate in the cash-rich IPL might lead to a conflict of interests between the team's global sponsors and the league's sponsors.

A number of Australian players, including captain Ricky Ponting and all-rounder Andrew Symonds have publicly expressed their resentment at the board's stance and Neil Maxwell, who manages Brett Lee and Mike Hussey, had warned that the players might shun Test and ODI cricket and take the IPL plunge if the Board did not change its decision.

CA is also toying with the idea of rescheduling the ICC Future Tour Programme to accommodate the IPL.

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