Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gayle joins calls for IPL window

West Indies captain Chris Gayle has joined a growing band of international cricketers calling for a permanent window for the Indian Premier League.

Gayle leads the West Indians' defence of the Wisden Trophy at Lord's this week, having only been in the country since Tuesday morning due to commitments with Kolkata Knight Riders.

"There should be a window for the IPL where all players should be available, so that everybody can get the chance to be amongst and play against the best," said Gayle. "Make it just like a World Cup event, so that everybody gets a fair share of it."

Both the 29-year-old and Fidel Edwards were participating in the second season of the IPL as were England trio Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara, all of whom were back on these shores by last Friday.

Next year's IPL has been shifted to start in March, which will at least avoid a clash with the English domestic season, and staging it in a slot away from international scheduling appears to be the only way to preserve the pre-eminence of Test cricket.

Gayle was originally scheduled to join up with his colleagues over the weekend but requested to play another match for Kolkata Knight Riders, which meant he did not report to the team hotel until 48 hours before the start of Wednesday's first npower Test.

"We all knew this situation would happen. Basically it was a tour which was slid in," said Gayle, referring to the fact West Indies are deputising for Sri Lanka, who could not guarantee a full-strength side.

"We were all due at the IPL, so with it coming upon us we discussed the situation with the board members and they gave us permission to be back at a certain, particular time.

"It is nothing new, so people should not be surprised. No one is bigger than the game, so I asked for permission to come back a day later."

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