Players risk being barred February 27, 2008

ECB adopts tough stance on unofficial tournaments

Cricinfo staff

The ECB has taken a hard line against unofficial tournaments with a clear message that anyone participating in or hosting them will in effect be ostracised.

In a non-nonsense statement, the board said no member, or venue receiving any funding from it, would be allowed to host such events. That was a clear message to the Indian Cricket League which had mentioned the possibility of playing games outside India.

The move was "in order to protect the genuine interests in the development of grassroots and county cricket and protecting anti-doping and anti corruption measures".

The ECB, which was acting with the backing of the first-class counties, also in effect barred overseas players who had signed with the ICL as they would be not be granted the required "no objection certificates" from their home boards. This raises the prospect of a number of high-profile players who had signed with counties not being able to fulfill their commitments.

With regards to English players who have signed, the ECB reaffirmed the policy "clearly demonstrates a preference towards players and officials who do not participate in unofficial events". Australia and New Zealand have announced guidelines that any players in the ICL will be banned from duties with their national and provincial teams.