Melbourne:Extremely disappointment at exodus of Indian players from the rebel ICL, former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie has solely blamed the ICC for trying to kill the tournament by refusing to recognise it.
Gillespie said ICC was being influenced by the BCCI in not granting them the official status.
"It's incredibly sad but it all comes down to that issue of recognition," said Gillespie, who continues to remain loyal to the Subhash Chandra-owned League.
"With my team, the (Ahmedabad) Rockets, we have already lost quite a few young Indian players back to official cricket. I don't begrudge them. They have to make a living and they don't want to be ostracised anymore," he said.
Gillespie admitted the ICL was under cash crunch to conduct a tournament in 2009, but hoped their legal efforts would help them return the subsequent year.
"What is killing the ICL is that the ICC refuses to give it recognition. They are being squeezed by the BCCI, so the ICC's fall-back position is to label it a domestic tournament.
"I know the ICL is keen to explore the legal route, the restraint of trade argument. They've been advised that legally they have a pretty strong case. But at the end of the day, until we get recognition it will be an uphill battle.
"That's their get-out-of-jail-free card. The ICL is going to struggle until it is recognised by the ICC. The players involved in the ICL just want to play cricket. That has been quite hard for some of them, especially the younger guys, when they've had their status taken away," he said.
Gillespie, who has retired from first-class cricket, has not been paid his dues by the Zee Telefilms-backed league but he does not complain.
"It's no secret that they've fallen a bit behind in their payments. The ICL management have been in contact with me and they have reassured me that they will settle their dues as soon as they can. I trust in that correspondence. I have a contract with them, and I would like to see it out," he said.
"I'm not giving up hope on the ICL. If I'm to be completely honest, I'm not convinced that there will be a tournament this year, but hopefully they'll get it back together for 2010. There's still a chance," he added.