Country comes before money, says Dhoni

Published: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 12:46 [IST]
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 It's not about the money: Dhoni

Christchurch : Playing for the country , not the easy money available in Twenty20 leagues, remained the top priority for India's cricketers, Indian captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni said on his team's arrival for a three-test series.

Dhoni said that the huge amount of money involved in the tournament such as IPL had not diminished players' commitment to the international game.

"I'm playing for my country so it's not about money," said Dhoni .

"With Indian cricket, I know that if I'm playing for my country and doing well, then I will get money that will be more than enough for me and my family. So I don't think it is a distraction."

Dhoni was the top money-earner in the IPL in its inaugural season, picking up $1.5 million to play for Chennai. England's Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen were picked up for $1.55 million in last month's IPL player auction.

Dhoni said the value of players to the IPL was based on their performance in international cricket and Twenty20 did not detract from their efforts in the test or one-day international arena.

Under Dhoni, India will attempt in the three tests in March and April to claim its first test series win in New Zealand in 41 years. The last Indian team to tour New Zealand in 2002 lost the test series 2-0, failing to reach 200 in any innings, and the one-day series 5-2.


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