Clarke’s decision to play in IPL sparks ‘cash versus country’ debate in Australia

Updated: Feb 02, 2013, 12:03 PM IST

Sydney: Former Australia Test selector Trevor Hohns has warned Michael Clarke against playing in the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) after the captain headlined a list of 30 players from Down Under nominated in an auction list released on Friday for the tournament in April. Clarke has been cautioned he risks leading a burnt-out Australian team to the Ashes series if the Test skipper accepts a potential one million pound deal to play in the IPL.

Clarke and former Test leader Ricky Ponting topped the auction list with a reserve price of 400,000 dollars, and the captain`s price tag could reach one million dollars if Indian franchises engage in a bidding war for the hottest batsman in world cricket, the paper reported. But there are concerns the IPL riches could ruin Australia`s Ashes preparations with the 20-over showpiece staged during a contractual leave-period that leaves Cricket Australia (CA) powerless to stop their elite embarking on a six-week cash grab.

Should Clarke turn out in the Twenty20 extravaganza, he and his 30 other Australian IPL colleagues could have just 14 days rest in a four-month period between the start of the Indian tour on February 18 and the beginning of the Ashes. With the 17-day Champions Trophy, starting June 6, to follow the four-Test Indian tour and the IPL, there are fears many Australian stars will enter the five-Test Ashes mentally and physically exhausted. Hohns said their players can`t afford to be over-worked going into the Ashes, adding they need to be right on the money in our preparation. Hohns said the players face a grueling schedule now, adding it is their choice, but players like Clarke and David Warner need to be fresh for a big tour like the Ashes.