National duty should be priority for cricketers: McGrath


New Delhi : Glenn McGrath is stunned that nearly half of the current Australian team is willing to prematurely end their international careers to play for the cash-rich Twenty20 leagues in India.

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“I read the report today. It is an interesting figure. I am surprised that so many Australian players want to quit international cricket. Indian Premier League is a great opportunity, but I would be disappointed if players put IPL before their international commitments,” said McGrath, who joined the Delhi Daredevils team Friday.

A survey conducted by the Australian Cricketers Association has revealed a startling 47 per cent of the national players and 49 per cent of state players would not hesitate to quit international cricket and join IPL or the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) for big bucks.

“It would be good if there is a break in the Future Tours Programme during the IPL so that the game is not affected,” McGrath said.

McGrath, who retired from international cricket after the World Cup, said he was looking forward to renew his rivalry with Sachin Tendulkar but said this format of the game gives the little master an edge over him.

“Without doubt I am looking to bowl to Sachin. I have enjoyed my whole career bowling to some of world’s best batsmen, I had some interesting battles with Sachin in last 10 years and its 50-50 between us. But it might be 51-49 in Sachin’s favour now. T20 cricket is very much a batsmen’s game.”

So what would the master of nagging line and length aim at when he marks his run-up at the slam-bang version of the game?

“I have been hit badly in ODIs. In 2001 I gave 61 runs in 5 overs against Pakistan. My aim here will be not to give more than 10 runs an over. T20 is a different format. The bowlers need to come with different types of deliveries, be prepared with a back-up plan. In ODIs I tried to keep it less than four runs an over, here it will be 10,” a smiling McGrath said.

Asked about Andrew Symonds being paid so much in IPL, McGrath said: “He is a class player and one of the best one-day players, if not the best T20 player. Indians are so passionate about cricket, they know their cricket and the players very well, and that is the reason why he has attracted such huge money.”

Asked how would he adjust with someone like his Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag whom he might have sledged, McGrath quipped: “I have never said anything against anybody on the field. I have been a quiet bowler.”

“Sehwag is a destructive batsman. I have just come and met these young guys. I will take some time and see how to prepare and go about it. There are lot of young players and hopefully they can learn something from me.”

But above all what McGrath is more excited about is to play against his mate Shane Warne with whom he has shared 1000 Test wickets and dressing room humour during their long careers.

“I am looking forward to the match against Jaipur because playing against Shane Warne would be interesting.”