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The head of the Indian Premier League has claimed English cricketers could be accommodated into future tournaments on the subcontinent.

Lalit Modi's comments on Thursday that England's top players were interested in the International Cricket Council-sanctioned competition come hours after the England and Wales Cricket Board toughened its stance against unofficial events such as the Indian Cricket League.

Modi, vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, reckons a tinkering with the scheduling would allow a more global feel to the IPL.

The inaugural 20-over extravaganza is being held in India between April 18 and June 1, which clashes with the opening six weeks of the English domestic summer.

"We have a huge amount of pressure from the English players to be participating in it," Modi told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Sooner or later we will look at adjusting our programmes while we try to bring our league forward.

"The objective would be in the future we would be working with the ECB to ensure the overlap doesn't take place."

Finding a window of compatibility will be difficult, however, with England scheduled to tour the Caribbean between February and April 2009.

But there is a feeling around the counties that avoiding a clash is necessary to ensure the participation of the best players in our domestic game.

For example, nine of the Australian side which secured a 5-0 Ashes whitewash over England had spells in county cricket.

But the amount of cash on offer now from the subcontinent - Andrew Symonds is being paid in excess of #650,000 for his involvement this year alone - may alter the direction in which the best Aussies head.

"We have to find a way of working with the IPL," said Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell. "It's a domestic tournament in India but it needs to be fitted into the international cricket calendar because it is being played by the best players."

Nottinghamshire have been left somewhat in limbo by David Hussey's signing with the IPL.

Hussey, who has signed a deal as overseas player at Trent Bridge for 2008 and 2009, has been bought by Kolkata.

"It's still all up in the air," Newell said. "He's signed a two-year deal here and then he's signed over there.

"It was a very quiet winter for us, then this all kicks off.

"And we are not even sure whether we would have him for the start of the season anyway as there is a chance he will be picked for Australia's tour to Pakistan if it goes ahead.

"This is all part of the problem counties have in signing overseas players: you are nervous if you sign full-time internationals because they can disappear during the season, and the more cricket that goes on, the harder it will be for us to get the quality."

Meanwhile, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Sussex will all be forced to look elsewhere for overseas players unless their current chosen men renege on their decision to participate in the latest ICL rebel league which begins in a fortnight.

The ECB on Wednesday moved into line with other national bodies by banning players who signed up to India's other Twenty20 cup.

Yorkshire are hoping that Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan withdraws, Sussex's Mushtaq Ahmed is also due to travel to India next week while Hampshire only signed Kiwi Shane Bond last Friday.

Yorkshire's chief executive Stewart Regan said: "We have given Rana an ultimatum which is basically: are you going to take part in the unofficial Indian Cricket League or are you going to play for Yorkshire? If Rana takes part in the ICL, he will automatically forfeit his Yorkshire contract.

"The situation is very much up in the air, but the optimist in me believes Rana will see the value in playing for Yorkshire. If not, it means we will be forced to look elsewhere for an overseas player.

"What we don't know is how much Rana is being paid by the ICL, or whether he has signed a legally-binding contract."
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