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England stars still set for IPL

Players' chief Sean Morris believes England stars will compete in next season's Indian Premier League, despite the advent of the Stanford Twenty20.

England last week agreed to compete in five 10m matches against Stanford's Super Stars - but Morris says players still want to play in the IPL.

"Players want to face the best, and that's the IPL," Morris told BBC Sport.

"There are several IPL offers on the table and I think three or four England players will take part next season."

The first Stanford match will take place on 1 November in Antigua in the Caribbean.

Winning players will receive 500,000 each, with another 1m split between the rest of the squad and coaches.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew believes the England and Wales Cricket Board wants to use the matches as a "carrot" to prevent players taking part in the IPL.

But Morris, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said: "The Stanford matches don't clash with the IPL.

"The only way to prevent England players taking part in the IPL would be to contractually specify where they can and can't play.

"That would be a restrictive approach and I don't think the ECB will do that."

Morris says he welcomes the Stanford matches because of the level of investment it would mean for English and West Indies cricket.

But he has concerns Test match players would not be anywhere near as well remunerated.

"The biggest concern we have is about Test match bonuses," said Morris.

"We need a balance between the rewards for Twenty20 and Test match players.

"Test match cricket still generates a lot of money - more than Twenty20 - but the rewards are not there for the players. I don't think that's fair.

"So we need to restructure and revaluate cricket in this country. This is a great opportunity for us to do that."

The inaugural IPL season clashed with the start of the English domestic season and the Test series with New Zealand.

However, next year's tour to the West Indies will finish a month earlier, possibly allowing England's players to play in India, but room in the domestic schedule would also need to found.

The organisers of the IPL agreed not to approach England players for the first season, which was won by Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals.

ECB chief Giles Clarke had said he did not want England players to compete in the IPL, but has since softened his stance, saying it will be down to coach Peter Moores to decide on the possible participation of his stars.

source - bbc.co.uk
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