London: England captain Kevin Pietersen and all rounder Andrew Flintoff may have to pay off their counties before they are allowed to sign lucrative contracts to play in the Indian Premier League in April.
Hampshire and Lancashire are seeking compensation as England"s two star players are poised to cash in on the richest tournament in cricket history, The Guardian reported.
Pietersen already has an offer of 1.7m dollars on the table and looks certain to play in the IPL.
But Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: “Some people think that because a player has a central contract the county doesn"t have anything to do with him any more. The England management might like to think that that is the case. But it"s not."
“England are entitled to play Pietersen and they are entitled to rest him. But they can"t permit him to play for another team in the course of the domestic cricket season. Any centrally contracted player must have permission from his county if he intends to play in the IPL," said Hampshire.
“I"m prepared to negotiate but if any team wants Kevin to play for them in the course of the county season the franchise concerned would have to reach an agreement with us."
The franchises, however, do not budget for compensation fees when they sign a player, and particularly when it is a sum as big as 1.7million dollars. So any money Hampshire will receive may come from Pietersen"s pay packet.
By coincidence, Bransgrove is representing the 18 first-class counties on an England and Wales Cricket Board committee, which is redrafting the England players" central contracts, where the issue of release agreements is on the agenda.