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IPL could be real boon to world game

The money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) could boost cricket around the world but organisers had to ensure there was as little overlap with internationals as possible, said South Africa's Graeme Smith.

South Africa arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday to play two tests and three one-day internationals. They will also play a test series in India before the IPL kicks off in April.

"Scheduling is obviously going to be the key for the IPL," the South African captain told reporters in Dhaka on Friday.

"But you know if it was handled properly, structured right, it can certainly be a benefit to the game."

Smith said, however, his side were focused on their series and not the inaugural Twenty20 tournament.

"It doesn't really affect us at the moment. Our mind is on concentrating playing for South Africa," he said.

Smith's Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting said this week that he feared international cricket could lose its top players to lucrative competitions unless their countries agreed to let them play.

"You know maybe he (Ponting) is right, but at the end of the day a lot of his players are at the end of their career and probably had retirements in their mind before IPL came along," said Smith.

The IPL has been officially endorsed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) but players cannot compete in the tournament if it clashes with their national duties.

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