BCCI should lift ban on ICL players: Atapattu

Marvan Atapattu said SLC's decision to lift the domestic ban on five ICL players should send a strong message to other boards to follow suit.

updated: September 20, 2008 11:20 IST
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Former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu said SLC's decision to lift the domestic ban on him and four other cricketers who had aligned with ICL should send a "strong message" to other boards, including BCCI, to follow suit and do the same in their respective countries.

"It's a very strong message to other boards that have imposed similar bans. It's a message that the game is not ruled by any single body, and nobody should try to rule the game," Atapattu said.

"I hope that other boards, including India, also let all their ICL players play in all forms of cricket. The players in India have taken a brave stand by joining ICL; they are very young and talented. Why not give them a chance now?" he told a website.

Besides Atapattu, others who benefited from Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to lift one-year-old ban imposed on ICL players include Russel Arnold, Upul Chandana, Avishka Gunawardene and Saman Jayantha.

Terming the SLC decision as "a positive step", Atapattu said it can also open doors for his possible comeback to international cricket.

"But for that, the first move has to come from the cricket board. The previous administration wasn't quite sure about me and the end wasn't too good. This time, if they approach me, I will definitely think about it. I just don't want to jump the gun," Atapattu said.

The 37-year-old veteran said the lifting of the ban will help the Lankan cricketers to play for the country and also pick between ICL and the Indian Premier league.

"I don't think there should have been a ban in the first place but we are very happy that the Sri Lankan Board has taken such a positive step," Atapattu said.

"We are hopeful this will soon lead to a situation where our cricketers can play for the country and choose between the ICL and IPL.

"ICL is a similar tournament, with a similar format, and only the name is different. So why is there this discrimination?" he argued.