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ECB leave the IPL door open

England's touring schedule of the West Indies next year may open the door for the likes of Kevin Pietersen to compete in the lucrative Indian Premier League.

The tour will finish on 4 April, leaving a window for players to play in the tournament that starts on 10 April.

English representation in this year's event was limited to just Dimitri Mascheranas, but several players have declared their interest.

English cricketers wishing to compete in the IPL currently need ECB approval.

Sajid Mahmood and Ravi Bopara have both rejected lucrative deals to join the league in order to enhance the chances with England, while Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff have also been mentioned as welcome additions.

This year's inaugural IPL clashed with the start of the new County campaign as well as New Zealand's tour of England.

However, the early finish to next year's tour of the Caribbean means there could be an opportunity for more players to sign for Indian teams.

The chance to play in the IPL could also be seen as a good warm-up for England's players ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 that is being staged in England next summer.

Next year's itinerary will see England play two three-day practice matches in Barbados, before Tests in Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados and Trinidad.

There will also be a Twenty20 fixture, England's first in the Caribbean, and a five-match one-day international series finishing with a day-night international in St Lucia.

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