IPL agree to 'Spirit of Cricket'
The Indian Premier League have confirmed they intend to support the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative.
Bosses of the multi-million pound Twenty20 competition have come to an agreement with the MCC and will ask each of the eight franchises - which feature an array of world-class talent from all over the world - to sign a declaration of adherence.
The text for the 'spirit of cricket' first appeared as a preamble to the MCC's Code of Laws in 2000 and is designed to emphasise sportsmanship and good grace in the game.
Lalit Modi, commissioner of the IPL, was delighted to have struck an agreement.
"All the cricketers playing in the inaugural season of the IPL are role models for an entire generation of youth and it is crucial for youngsters all over the world to learn straight away the values of this great game and the spirit in which it should be played," he said.
"The eyes of the world will be on the IPL and we want to see cricket, and the Spirit of Cricket, at its best."
Keith Bradshaw, chief executive of the MCC, said: "This is an innovative and forward-thinking league that has captured the imagination of the cricketing world and it is pleasing that each player and each team will play their part in supporting the very best traditions of the game."
The revolutionary tournament, which attracted unprecedented sums of money in a draft-style auction earlier this year, begins on April 18 and features just one English cricketer - Hampshire all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas - due to a clash with the county season.
Modi has previously stated that England stars are keen to get involved in the future and has even mooted a shift in dates to accommodate county players.
Middlesex's former England batsman Ed Smith believes it is crucial to avoid a conflict of interests between international ambitions and money-spinning stints on the sub-continent.
"There are dangers with the IPL, there are concerns," he told Setanta Sports.
"We want to cling onto our English players for the domestic season. We want people to put England first."
Smith's team-mate Owais Shah, a member of England's recent winter touring squads, sees both positives and negatives in the competition.
"There is a lot of international cricket being played at the moment and if you make it a schedule where the rest periods are shorter, it may impact on performance," he added.
"At the same time it is good entertainment and promoting cricket in other countries is very good. Cricket is a religion in India and who knows, the IPL may come to England and we will be promoting cricket and maybe it could be level with football one day."