Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) is ensuring that cricket is played in the right way by getting the eight teams figuring in the inaugural tournament to sign a ‘Spirit of Cricket’ declaration. It will happen at the opening ceremony on April 18 when Bangalore Royal Challengers will play Kolkata Knight Riders.

The IPL announced a partnership with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Wednesday, to support the MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ initiative. MCC’s secretary & chief executive, Keith Bradshaw, said: “The Spirit of Cricket is a worldwide concept that affects all players of the game, from grassroots to the elite level. We look forward to a league full of cricket played in the right way — hard but fair.”

Role models

The DLF-IPL commissioner and chairman, Lalit Modi, said: "All cricketers playing in the inaugural IPL are role models for an entire generation of youth and it is crucial for youngsters all over the world to learn straightaway the values of this great game and the spirit in which it should be played. It is exciting to be associated with the MCC, which is the custodian of the Laws of Cricket."

Mr. Modi, when asked about the Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar’s inclusion, at a time when the IPL and MCC have tied up for such an initiative, said: “Our player policy is clear from the start.

“The home country has the right to issue an NOC to play, or they can refuse an NOC to play.

“I have seen media reports saying that PCB has banned Shoaib for five years, but unless there is a directive to us from the PCB not to include him in the IPL, there is no way he can be kept out.”

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