Cricket body drafts in Quintus after IPL debate

The body that represents professional cricketers in England and Wales has called in public affairs support amid uncertain times for the English game.

The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) has turned to Quintus Public Affairs as the new season begins. It is the first time in years that the body has retained an agency for public affairs.

Quintus will lobby for English players to be allowed to play in the new Indian Premier League (IPL). The Twenty20 competition in India starts on 18 April with vast sums of money offered by both the IPL and the unauthorised Indian Cricket League.

As things stand, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will not allow some of England's best players to compete in the new 20-over competition. Star names such as Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan are unable to cash in on the riches available in the new tournament because they are on central contracts.

There is a concern that this could lead to a situation where players are forced to choose between playing for their country and for the IPL, with the latter the more lucrative option.

PCA chief executive Sean Morris recently warned 'money will talk' if players are not given the chance of competing in the IPL. He said that the England team could be 'decimated of its stars' if players were forced to make a choice.

But ECB chairman Giles Clarke said the board was 'not interested' in letting England stars such as Pietersen take part in the tournament. Pietersen recently branded the ECB's stance 'ridiculous'.

The account will be led by associate director Iain Wilton, who recently stepped down from his post as head of comms and public affairs at Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to join Quintus (PRWeek, 15 February).

The team of 25 at Quintus is headed up by founder and MD Chris Guyver.

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