Laxmi Ratan Shukla opts out of ICL

In a major setback to the Indian Cricket League (ICL), Bengal all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla has pulled out of the rebel league.

updated: August 27, 2007 14:04 IST
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Bengal cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Friday confirmed his decision to leave the Indian Cricket League.

NDTV had reported two days ago that he had changed his mind even after being unveiled on Monday by ICL. Apparently, he had not signed the contract.

The former India player said its family pressure that made him change his mind though the buzz is that he has now also been offered the captaincy of the Bengal team because of the mass exodus of players.

"I am not enjoying the idea of joining the ICL. My heart is with Bengal and I want to play for the country," said Shukla.

He was among the 44 players paraded by the ICL at a grand unveling ceremony in Mumbai on August 20.

Shukla said he "did not like the atmosphere" of the ICL function and that Cricket Association of Bengal officials convinced him to remain in with the official set up.

Shukla had reportedly told one of his close confidantes that he had a change of heart after he went to Mumbai where it became clear that the ICL was not giving due weightage to his experience.

Though he had already represented the country, he was offered an amount less than what was being given to other players, Shukla seemed to have told his friend.

But his rethinking was probably influenced by the BCCI's announcement of increasing the players' payment across all levels of the game.

Asked whether he was offerred captaincy of Bengal, Shukla said choosing the captain was the prerogative of the CAB.

CAB officlas, sources said, had told him that his claim for captaining the side would be considered sympathetically this time. (With PTI inputs)