County news March 20, 2008

ECB rejects five ICL players

Cricinfo staff

Wavell Hinds will not feature for Derbyshire this season © Getty Images

Five foreign players, each of whom applied to join counties as Kolpaks, have been refused registration by the ECB. Wavell Hinds (Derbyshire), Johan van der Wath (Northamptonshire), Andrew Hall (Northamptonshire), Hamish Marshall (Gloucestershire) and Justin Kemp (Kent) - who coincidentally are all signed-up members of the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) - will play no part for their respective counties all season.

The situation is muddied by the Kolpak issue. Any cricketer who has played cricket (domestic or international) in another country 12 months prior to their Kolpak application can be turned away, at the ECB's discretion. But in recent years, this stipulation has been waived several times, which has led to a number of counties expanding their squads with experienced internationals and former internationals. Now, however, with the ICL alive and kicking, the ECB has chosen not to exercise its discretion, which could be seen as sanctioning an event not officially recognised by the ICC.

"We are obviously very disappointed that Wavell will be unable to join us this season," Tom Sears, Derbyshire's chief executive, said. "While we support the ECB's stance on unsanctioned events we can fully understand why Wavell has accepted the Indian Cricket League offer.

"Now we have a definitive decision we can turn our attention to securing a replacement and we can assure our members and supporters that we have the resources to compete for the very best players that are available."

"It was something we expected and has been on the cards for a few days now," Mark Tagg, Northamptonshire's chief executive, told Cricinfo.

The ICL signings have caused confusion for weeks. The county circuit has two captains who are also part of the ICL - Dale Benkenstein (Durham) and Nicky Boje (Northamptonshire) - but they are expected to play because they are already registered and no retrospective action will be taken by the ECB.