Saturday, 26 Dec, 2009 MELBOURNE: Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson is set to put country before cash by ignoring the lure of a six-figure sum to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Johnson’s manager Sam Halvorsen said the bowler was likely to resist the temptation of playing in the rich league for the third year in succession.
The ICC’s cricketer of the year would have been one of the most sought-after names at the third IPL auction on Jan 19 had he decided to nominate.
“We want to protect him from the wear and tear,” Halvorsen said. “The decision was made easier because of our concern over the auction process.
“He might have been able to play half the tournament but at this stage we feel as if the break will be better for him.” Halvorsen said there were other factors that diminished Johnson’s desire to play in the March 12-April 25 tournament.
They include the fact that a player is at the whim of the auction process, meaning he is unable to choose his team or negotiate the size of his contract.
Johnson would have been permitted to play about half of the tournament, so the decision may have cost him about $200,000.
He has taken 57 Test wickets at 28.8 this year to cement his standing as one of the world’s best fast bowlers.
Meanwhile, the interests of the IPL and Australian states have collided with IPL boss Lalit Modi insisting contracted players be available for the IPL rather than their state teams later this season.
Modi said the IPL was happy to release players for international commitments but not for domestic duties.
A clash is looming in mid-March when the IPL overlaps with the closing rounds and the final of the Sheffield Shield (March 17-21).
Modi is threatening to tear up the contracts of any players who delay their entrance to the IPL because of domestic commitments.
“A worst-case scenario could mean the termination of contracts, however we don’t want to go down that path because we want to sort this out through the boards,” Modi said.—Agencies
Australian fast bowler Johnson is set to put country before cash by ignoring the lure of a six-figure sum to play in the lucrative IPL. — Photo by AFP Sport