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Collier expresses IPL concerns

ECB chief executive David Collier insists the fledgling Indian Premier League must conform to the game's tour schedule and doubts whether England's top stars will be able to fit into the proposed set-up.

Collier has expressed his concerns about the competition, which starts on April 18, saying: "There are issues of scheduling.

"The obvious time for the IPL to play is April and May, but that clashes with the start of our international season.

"We play New Zealand on May 15 in England, for our players to take part their schedule has to come forward a few weeks to fit into that calendar.

"We should also not forget that we go to the West Indies in the spring of next year. The IPL has said that the tours programmes will take precedence, and clearly that will clash with us being in the West Indies."

He continued: "And for the IPL to play in October and November would be a problem because that clashes with the majority of global events - (such as) the ICC Champions Trophy - are played during that period, so that time is unlikely.

"It is a question of finding periods of the year for this to take place. We are one of the few countries who play in June, that is why our competitions are so successful because we can attract the best players in the world.

"That is why we believe that an English Premier League will be very successful including a broad range of cricketers."

"Will the IPL be successful? For any new venture you must have a very robust operating plan and a very good structure.

"The big test for the IPL will be the operation of their tournament. You have to operate to world class standards."

Collier has concerns that IPL could run at a loss initially.

He added: "Certainly if you look over a five-to-10-year period, we can believe the claims that Indian cricket is worth a billion dollars.

"But there are 10 franchises, and every one has a turnover of about eight million dollars, it is being said in India that those franchises will be making a loss for a number of years.

"That is not unusual, in the US when franchises start, they make losses for a number of years. But if you are investing in such numbers, you expect a return in the not-too-distant future, and that will happen in India.

"But it will not be for a while. In England we have a robust model, and how strong the Twenty20 here has become. We will be strengthening our own competition significantly.

"Twenty20 is a great opportunity for cricket but it must not dominate the game. Test cricket, one-day cricket, is crucial to the future of the game and has to compliment the game, not take over from the game."


source - ecb.co.uk
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