Justin Langer says no to IPL

February 24, 2008

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PERTH, Feb 23: Former Australian opener Justin Langer has turned his back on the inaugural Twenty20 Indian Premier League, opting to honour a prior commitment to English county side Somerset.

Langer fetched $218,000 from the Jaipur franchise in Wednesday’s player auction, but The West Australian newspaper said on Saturday that he declined the offer.

In rejecting Jaipur’s offer, Langer said he feared for the direction of world cricket, concerned that the riches of the IPL would change the priorities of some players. “Before the auction, I don’t know if many people anticipated what an issue these massive player payments would become,” Langer said, echoing the fears of Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

“But when you see how much money is being paid out, I think we have to be very careful to protect the integrity of the game. A few days ago, playing for Australia would have been the main goal for just about every young player in the country. Now that might not be the case.”

—Agencies