HYDERABAD, India, IANS-CMC – West Indies’ international Twenty20 stars could find themselves having to choose between the maroon colours and playing in the Indian Premier League, after the new dates for the lucrative T20 championship were announced yesterday.
The fifth edition of the IPL will be the longest, running from April 4 to May 27, and will clash with Australia’s tour of the Caribbean and the Windies trip to England.
West Indies are scheduled to host Australia in three Tests and five One-Day Internationals between March 14th and April 23rd, before heading to England for three Tests, three ODIs and a T20I from May 1st to June 20th.
Earlier this year, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo requested No Objection Certificates (NOC) to compete in the IPL. As a result, they were not available for Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean.
Gayle was Player-of-the-Series in Royal Challengers Bangalore colours, Pollard turned out for the powerful Mumbai Indians while Bravo played for eventual champions Chennai Super Kings. All three are expected to feature again in next year’s tournament. Meanwhile, the IPL Governing Council, meeting on the sidelines of the first One-day International between India and England here, decided that it will be a nine-team tournament, making it clear that there is no re-looking at the termination of Kochi Tuskers.
The previous edition, held from April 8 to May 28, has been the longest until now with 10 teams, two new franchises Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers joining it.
Kochi’s contract was terminated for non-payment of bank guarantee, thus abruptly ending the controversial Kerala team’s association with the cash-rich league after just one year.
Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sanjay Jagdale in a media release stated the management team has been asked to suggest various options to format the league. “The Governing Council has asked the management team to come back with options for the format and structure for the 2012 season of the tournament. The council also approved various operational items for the forthcoming season,” stated Jagdale.
“The player regulation and trading modalities will be discussed at the next meeting of the GC.” The opening ceremony of IPL-5 will be held in Chennai April 3, a day before the inaugural game.