Sri Lankan cricket star plays the waiting game by electing not to play this year.
Kumar Sangakkarra said he was taking the smarter option by not opting for the upcoming 2014 Indian Premier League auction, opting instead to play in the lucrative Twenty20 competition next season.
Sri Lanka’s national team depart on a tour of Ireland and England just 20 days into the upcoming IPL season, something that would adversely affect Sangakkarra’s value.
However, the star wicketkeeper-batsman was hoping the new rules, allowing IPL teams to adjust their playing rosters every season, will see him land a spot in 2015, where he will able to play entire season in India.
“It’s primarily a pragmatic decision,” Sangakkara said.
“Two-and-a-half weeks of availability is not attractive to franchises, so the chances of getting a better contract are higher next year, when I will be available for the whole tournament.
“The new rules allowing franchises to re-evaluate their squads each year mean that players from teams that have a busier schedule next year will be less attractive. That, in turn, may mean there are more funds available to fresh entrants.”
The West Indies, England, New Zealand and Australia all have international matches scheduled for April and May next year, taking away possible names from the auction table.
Sri Lanka also have a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe scheduled during those months, but Sangakkara has hinted in the past that he will not play limited-overs cricket beyond the 2015 World Cup.
Sri Lanka’s postponed home Test series against South Africa is not likely to begin before June, after the south-west monsoon has passed.
And with the Asia Cup, the World Twenty20 Cup and ongoing tour of Bangladesh all on the cards for the Sri Lankan leader, he said a chance to recharge his batteries during the early weeks of the 2014 IPL season, will come at just the right time.
“It also allows me to have some time at home with my family,” he said. “And I can do some preparation work for the England tour, with a focus on maintaining my fitness. I think all those factors contributed to the final decision.
“It’s a decision that carries some risk, because you never know how things will pan out next year, but I feel it’s the right one.”