IPL-5 to begin on April 4

The 5th edition of Indian Premier League will be starting on April 4th, 2012 with the finals scheduled on May 27th. The tournament will be held after India return from their lengthy tour of Australia while South Africa complete their engagements in New Zealand.

IPL Team LogosThe tournament will consist of 74 matches, the same as this season and the complete match schedule will be announced soon.

The IPL has turned into a bone of contention with several countries ready to alter their schedule in accordance with the dates of the tournament. The Future Tour Programme (FTP) is one of the main discussion point during the 5-day ICC session currently being held in Hong Kong, amid calls from several countries to provide a window for IPL.

No Indian Cricketers in the SLPL: BCCI

The BCCI has refused to give permission to the Indian players to take part in the Sri Lankan Premier League as the event is being organized by a "private party" based in Singapore instead of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board.

Shashank Manohar"We took the decision at an informal meeting of 18-20 members that no Indian cricket player will be given permission to take part in the league as it is being organized by a private party based in Singapore. The Board's policy is not to allow cricketers to take part in private party-organized tournaments," BCCI president Shashank Manohar told PTI from Nagpur.

Manohar said unless the Board gives them a No Objection Certificate, Indian players cannot participate in the Lankan Twenty20 league.

"We have to give them permission and we have decided not to give it. We have already informed Sri Lanka Cricket board about it," he elaborated.

IPL a chance to learn: Pujara

Saurashtra's prolific middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara feels that the Indian Premier League is a great platform for young cricketers to rub shoulders with the best in the business from across the world.

He said the IPL has its own charm and playing in the Twenty20 tournament is altogether a different experience.

Cheteshwar Pujara"IPL is the perfect platform for young cricketers to play alongside senior players of different countries. It (IPL) gives youngsters a chance to learn a lot from experienced players," Pujara told PTI.

Pujara's journey in the IPL so far has been far from rosy because of injuries.

The scenario was no different in this year's IPL IV as after playing just seven games for Royal Challengers Bangalore, he sustained a knee injury while fielding against Kochi Tuskers Kerala to not only miss the remainder of the tournament but also India's tour of West Indies.

"It is difficult to avoid on-field injury and an injured player does not have any option except for taking rest," Pujara said.

He, however, refused to disclose the nature of his injury.

"I cannot disclose the details of my injury as per BCCI's instruction."

Pujara also expressed disappointment for missing out on a chance to tour West Indies in the absence of senior players.

"Its painful to sit out."

In the absence of senior pros, Suresh Raina lead a depleted Indian side to a 3-2 win over the West Indies in the just-concluded five-match ODI series, and Pujara said it proves India's strong bench strength.

IPL T20 Cricket 2011: Top 10 Highest Run Scorer

C. Gayle (RCB)1260810767.55183.13
Virat Kohli (RCB)165577146.41121.08
S. Tendulkar (MI)16553100*42.53113.31
S. Marsh (KXI)145049542.00146.51
M. Hussey(CSK)1449283*41.00118.84
P. Valthaty (KXI)12463120*35.61136.98
S. Raina (CSK)1643873*31.28134.76
M. Vijay (CSK)164349527.12128.02
V. Sehwag(DD)11424 11938.54176.66
J. Kallis (KKR)1542480*35.33112.16

Afridi may be allowed to play in national Twenty20 event

The Pakistan Cricket Board will not stop suspended all-rounder Shahid Afridi from taking part in the national T20 championship, scheduled to be held in Faisalabad from June 24.

Shahid AfridiA well-placed source in the board said that as of now far it has been decided to allow Afridi to guide the Karachi Dolphins side in the tournament despite the ongoing disciplinary process against him.

"Since it is a domestic tournament and the matter between him and the board is now in court it is felt it is better he is allowed to captain the Karachi side in the event," a source said.

The Karachi City Cricket Association has also written to the board, seeking written clearance to allow Afridi to lead their team in the tournament.