Cricket: Clarke Warns England Stars; 'Don't Forget How Tony Greig Lost Out'

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ENGLISH cricket chief Giles Clarke has warned England stars that featuring in the Indian Premier League will jeopardise their international futures - and hopes of regaining the Ashes, writes MIKE McGRATH.

England's star names will not feature in the IPL later this month as it clashes with the Test series against New Zealand, and Clarke does not expect coach Peter Moores to release players for the 2009 tournament when there is a gap in the calendar.

Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has highlighted the need to maximise the chances of defeating Australia next summer.

"I couldn't see anyone centrally contracted playing," said Clarke. "I can't see Peter Moores determining that he wishes to release him.

"The risks are very significant. We're about to play Australia. If Peter Moores released a player and he got injured, what would the reaction be?

"Spectators want to know that our players are as fit and sharp and ready for the Ashes series as possible."

Kevin Pietersen recently indicated that England players would want to play in the IPL, which is played in the Twenty20 format, and urged the sport's authorities to make space in the international schedule.

As it stands, the IPL will not use players if there is a clash with international cricket, but next year's tournament will fall between the tour of the West Indies and the Ashes series.

With Moores expected to want his squad to rest, an option would be for players not to be on central contracts, yet still be available for England. …


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