Clarke, Johnson prefer national pride to IPL

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian international cricketers Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson have opted against joining the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) to concentrate on their fledgling careers with the national team.

The Age quoted the IPL's Australian agent, Neil Maxwell, as saying that, wicket-keeper batsman Haddin and left-arm quick Johnson chose not to sign contracts overnight so they could devote their full attention to their Test and one-day careers.

Maxwell said '14 or 15' Australians had signed on for the eight-team, T20 tournament to be played from April 18 to the end of May.

"We're looking at about 14 or 15 (Australian signatures). I'm not in a position (to read them out) right now," Maxwell told Sydney Radio 2KY today.

"Two guys have decided not to go - Haddin and Johnson - they're going to focus on their international careers.

"I'm just waiting on one other (Clarke), but apart from that everyone else is right."

Captain-in-making Clarke too later followed Haddin and Johnson suit.

Representatives of the eight IPL franchises will bid for players at auction in India tomorrow, with retiring Test and one-day star Adam Gilchrist and India's own hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni expected to be at the top of the wish-lists.

The multi-million dollar tournament is expected to bring in huge dollars for the players, with Gilchrist's worth estimated at almost one million Australian dollars.

"The top players, for six weeks work, could be earning, dare I say it, 70, 000 to 80,000 dollars a week ... quite comfortably I'd suggest for some of those top ones. It's in the realms of the English Premier League, which for a long time players have wanted to aspire to," he added on Fox Sports.

"To be honest, we'll find out exactly tomorrow. That's part of the excitement of the competition, this process that you go through.

Aussie players in IPL net: Ponting, Gilchrist, Symonds, McGrath, Warne, Mike Hussey, Matt Hayden, brett Lee, Katich, Bracken, Justin Langer and Cameron White.

The retired players Warne, McGrath, Langer and Gilchrist are expected to be available for the entire competition from April 18 to the end of May, along with Katich and Gillespie.

The others may be available for the first three weeks if the proposed tour of Pakistan is called off, as expected. They would then be required for the Australian tour to the West Indies.


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