Adam Gilchrist insists Australia's cricketers are not trying to be “rebels” and will toe the company line when it comes to playing in the Indian Premier League.
The Test vice-captain confirmed today he was one of about a dozen top-level players to receive a letter from Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland warning them against playing in next year's lucrative IPL Twenty20 tournament without CA's consent.
Gilchrist denied he or any other player was trying to bend the rules of their CA contract by signing a memorandum of understanding with the IPL, and insisted any such tournament would always come second to playing international cricket.
Dismiss concerns over split
The wicket-keeper said he did not view the letter as being the start of a “stand-off” between the players and CA, and dismissed fears Australian cricket was on the verge of the game's biggest split since Kerry Packer launched World Series Cricket 30 years ago.
“I think it's pretty dramatic to draw comparisons between the Twenty20 revolution and World Series Cricket all those years ago,” said Gilchrist, who added he had already spoken to Sutherland about the matter a few weeks ago after receiving the letter.
“World Series Cricket was quite dramatic, and there was a lot of bad blood around at that time, from what I've learned, but it's far from that at the moment.
“No one will play (in the IPL) without consent.
“We're not trying to be rebels here. It's a new opportunity for cricketers and it's a very exciting one that I know Cricket Australia are endorsing and encouraging.
“We're not looking for a moment to bend the rules or our contracts with Cricket Australia. They are our employer, as simple as that.
‘Abide by rules’
“We'll abide by their rules at all times and we're not trying to bend those rules what so all.
“If the opportunity comes up to play IPL, which a lot of us have signed a MOU to allow us to do, (we will play) but that will always be secondary to international cricket and playing for our country.
“I don't see (the letter) as a stand off or a threat. It's simply them (CA) stating exactly what their position is, and making sure that everyone is fully aware of it.”