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Strauss attacks Gayle for prolonging IPL stint

Europe, Wed, 06 May 2009 IANS

London, May 6 (IANS) England captain Andrews Strauss has charged West Indies captain Chris Gayle of 'devaluing' Test cricket by arriving from the Indian Premier League (IPL) just two days before the start of the Test series.


With Andrew Flintoff ruled out of the series starting Wednesday after sustaining a knee injury in IPL, Strauss said the Twenty20 championship may take a heavy toll on the two Tests and there One-dayers between England and West Indies.



Gayle, who took permission from West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to extend his stay by two days to appear for his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders' match Sunday, arrived here Monday and that prompted Strauss to warn that Test cricket could be undermined by the lack of preparation.



'The important thing is that Test cricket gets the attention it deserves,' Strauss was quoted as saying in The Guardian Wednesday.



'That means that people prepare themselves properly. You don't want Test cricket to be devalued in any shape or form. Certainly we wouldn't want our players arriving two days before,' Strauss said.



The second season of the IPL and the England-West Indies series overlap for 19 days.



The IPL will end May 24 during which England and West Indies will play two Tests and two






'None of us want a situation where international cricket is competing against IPL cricket. That is unhealthy for the game, it is unhealthy for the IPL and most important of all it is unhealthy for the future of Test cricket,' he said.



Gayle, who arrived after agreeing to play an extra game for the Kolkata Knight Riders, also came under attack from West Indies coach John Dyson.



Dyson sounded unhappy for the likes of Gayle, Fidel Edwards, Dwayne Bravo, who were all playing in IPL, for giving themselves so little time to get used to to local conditions.



'It's not time for an ideal preparation for a Test match but we have to work with it,' Dyson said.



Gayle defended his decision to stay back for IPL saying that he had the permission of WICB.



'I was due to come here a day earlier, on Sunday, but we had a game and I got permission to stay. But we all knew the situation. We discussed it with board members and we got permission to get back at a particular time. I got permission. No one is bigger than the game. There was a debate about it. It was clarified and sorted out,' Gayle said.



The inaugural session of the IPL had wreaked a similar havoc for the Australian team as more than a few of their top notch players had fallen to injuries as they returned from the T20 bash.


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