Modi pushes for ECB commitment

Indian Premier League chairman insists the England and Wales Cricket Board must agree to a deal releasing players for at least two seasons.

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The Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi insists the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will have to agree to a deal releasing their players for a minimum of two seasons before a formal agreement between the two parties can be reached. The ECB and the Professional Cricketers Association reached a deal earlier this week which would allow England's top players to participate in the second edition of the IPL for a 21-day period.

While Modi said the deal was a positive step, he said the ECB would have to prove their commitment to the IPL before players such as Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen are listed for the Feb 6 auction in Goa. "The ECB has to first agree to providing unconditional support to the IPL, just as all the other participating boards have done," Modi told the Times of India. "Everybody needs to protect their season, which is fair enough. "But that cannot be a hindrance to the ECB agreeing to the IPL like all other boards have done." Overseas players who had signed up for the inaugural edition of the IPL had agreed to three-year deals, Modi added. "We are only asking the ECB for a similar commitment. Either you are a part of it or you're not." *PA Sport