Chennai: Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming on Sunday said the lucrative Indian Premier league with its million-dollar deals has changed the face of international cricket.
Addressing a press meet prior to Chennai Super Kings' second day training camp at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, Fleming, a USD 350,000 dollar purchase of the India Cements team, said he was astounded by the huge money involved in the league.
"Like most players, I was astounded by the money involved in the IPL, but I feel, it is going to be incredibly exciting and the league is something that has changed the face of cricket," he said.
Australian batsman Michael Hussey, who got an equal payment as Fleming and New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram, a USD 675,000 dollars catch, echoed Fleming's sentiments.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (USD 1.5 million), Muttiah Muralitharan (USD 600,000), Matthew Hayden (USD 375,000), Parthiv Patel (USD 325,000), Joginder Sharma (USD 225,000), Albie Morkel (USD 675.000), Suresh Raina (USD 650,000) and Makhaya Ntini (USD 200,000) were the other players bought by the Chennai franchise in the IPL auction early last month.
The three overseas players said the Twenty20 tournament would be a real entertainer but the cricketing skills of players cannot be overlooked.
"Yes, T20 is all about entertainment, but still you need cricketing skills to win matches and it is a complex game. There is also a lot of technique involved like the way you plan a chase or set a target, batting in the middle overs and such situations," said Fleming.
On the attitude and approach of the players in view of the huge amount of money involved, Fleming said, "Back home, questions were asked during the auction on the kind of money involved but it is for the players to decide on how they want to go about in their career," he said.
While Hussey said it was a 'fantastic concept' despite the fees commanded by the players, Oram, who had to clear a fitness test prior to leaving for India being away from the game for a while, felt that like Test and One-Dayers, T20 should also find a permanent calendar in international cricket.
"It is for the ICC to come up with something to ensure that the IPL dates do not clash with the international commitments of the countries," he said.
The trio was of the opinion that the players of different nationalities playing in a particular team "is not a big issue."
Fleming was of the view that it was possible to work out the "dynamics" of the team once all the players get together.
Hussey said, "We have a few wise minds in our team and I am sure we will be able to work out an appropriate strategy for the tournament."