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Sidebottom backs big-money game

Source - bbc.co.uk

Ryan Sidebottom has given his backing to a 10m winner-takes-all Twenty20 match in the Caribbean between England and a West Indies all-star XI.

American tycoon Sir Allen Stanford is proposing to bankroll the game and has held talks with England cricket chiefs.

"The money that is being talked about - make no bones about it - is great," said England paceman Sidebottom.

"Everyone wants to play in it and I am no different. If there's an opportunity to play in it, then why not?"

The match, set for 2009, is one idea being considered by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in its attempts to limit the potential damage to the domestic game of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Initially, the ECB stated centrally-contracted players would not be permitted to take part in the IPL, which launched its inaugural competition last week and features some of the world's biggest names.

But it has recently loosened its stance to suggest they could be released if international schedules allow.

That may be enough to appease some players - such as star batsman Kevin Pietersen who described the ECB's position as "ridiculous" - and avoid any future stand-off.

Sidebottom says he hopes to feature in the IPL at some stage.

"I watched the first game," said the 30-year-old. "It is a great competition and you've got the world's best players playing.

"I would love to play in it, I am sure everyone else would, but there is nothing we can do about it.

"I am just concentrating on England at the moment, but if it does come around then I would love to play."

In the meantime, the Nottinghamshire left-armer is keen to build on his success with England after a brilliant comeback over the last 12 months.

After six years on the sidelines, he has taken 53 wickets in 12 Tests, 24 of them during the winter tour of New Zealand.

"I am just enjoying every minute of it," Sidebottom said of his international renaissance.

"That's what I intend to do, just enjoy playing and try to make the most of my opportunity."

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