London: Michael Vaughan has said it is "naive" to think England players will not be involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at some point in the near future.
Last week Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), ruled out centrally contracted England players from taking part in next year's IPL as he wanted to make sure that everything possible was done to keep them fresh for the 2009 home Ashes series against Australia.
The inaugural IPL, a domestic Twenty20 competition featuring some of the world's best players, who've joined newly created franchises on lucrative salaries, gets underway in India on Friday.
Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas is the only England player involved in the new tournament but the all-rounder does not have a central contract.
Meanwhile his county colleague and star England batsman Kevin Pietersen has labelled the ECB stance on centrally contracted players not appearing in the IPL as "ridiculous".
England Test captain Vaughan, speaking at Yorkshire's Headingley headquarters Tuesday on the eve of the start of the 2008 County Championship, said it was inevitable English players would eventually take part in the IPL.
"I've heard so many people say that all the best players are in the world are there and you want to go and play in it," Vaughan told Sky Sports.
"So I think we're all naive if we don't think that England players are going to end up playing in the IPL.
"I'm excited to see how it looks when it starts on Friday, I think is there going to be a lot of passion from the players who play and those watching in the stands.
"It is certainly looking like a very exciting spectacle. I've seen a few of the previews over in India with the adverts and the billboards, and it looks like it is going to be a big event.
"If there are big grounds, and there is a lot of money involved, you're going to want to play in it and I think it will be sooner rather than later that we will see England players playing in the IPL."
The 33-year-old batsman added he hoped a gap in cricket's crowded fixture list could be created for the IPL which would stop it clashing with the start of the English season.
"At the minute it is not possible with the schedule but I am sure in time something will happen to allow all top players in the world to play, because it is a huge spectacle and also one which brings in so much revenue to the game.
"It really is something that could be quite powerful and something that all players around the world will want to go and play in.
"It's exciting for the game and we shouldn't look at it as being a threat - it is a really exciting time for the game with all these leagues.
"Exposure for cricket is being thrown out to the world and everyone is talking about it so it is exciting to really take to it.
"Maybe there will be a league set up in England, and with leagues set up elsewhere there could be something like the Champions League where the top few who win their leagues go and play in a 'Super 14' style of event, but that is a long way down the line.
"Certainly it is not a negative thing for the game - it is exciting for the players, it is exciting for the supporters, so we should look forward to it."