ICL players losing hope of mainstream return

Pakistani cricketers, who are contracted with the ICL, are losing hopes of the ICC resolving the issue that has banned them from playing in their country.

updated: February 02, 2009 15:29 IST
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Pakistani cricketers, who are contracted with the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League, are fast losing hope of the International Cricket Council resolving the issue.

The players are dismayed at the events of the executive Board meeting of the ICC in Perth at the weekend as the game's had thrown the ball into the court of the Indian board and given it legal cover to squeeze out the ICL and punish players participating in it.

"It seems that the ICC is also under some pressure from the wealthy and influential Indian Board. We were expecting some decision which has not come," allrounder Abdul Razzaq said.

A senior member of the ICL rebels pointed out that the ICC Board had infact even made it more difficult for the ICL cricketers to even play domestic cricket in their own countries.

"The ICC announced it would be holding further talks with the Indian Board and ICL on the application made by the ICL seeking recognition. But on other hand the Board has agreed to new regulations to govern domestic cricket events and approved and disapproved cricket," he pointed out.

"The Board that made the recommendations for the new regulations included Lalit Modi and the Indian board chief who are strongly opposed to the ICL so how can we expect any justice from the ICC now," he said.

Pakistan's former captain Inzamam-ul Haq who leads the Lahore Badshahs team in the ICL said he was expecting some decision from the ICC atleast on the status of players who have been banned from playing even domestic cricket in their own countries.

"These players who joined the ICL have committed no crime and should be allowed to play domestic cricket. The ICC has to assert its authority here," he said.

He said the Pakistani players could now only hope for a legal solution to the whole problem.

The ICL players in Pakistan have initiated a process to eventually take the Pakistan Board to court for stopping its players from playing domestic cricket.

The Chairman of the PCB took the letter from the players legal representative to the ICC Board meeting for consultations with other member countries.

The ICC went for the new regulations after coming under pressure to give a clear stance on the ICL.

Under the new regulations it has been agreed that a host member could determine if a match or tournament within its territory should be approved or disapproved.

The ICC would also be given power to make such a determination in a non-member territory.

It was also agreed that no foreign player could take part in domestic cricket unless he obtained a no-objection certificate (NOC) from his home Board.

It was also agreed that no members, members' players, coaches or match officials could participate in disapproved cricket. The new regulations will be implemented from 1 June 2009.