PCA needs to get clarification April 9, 2008

Solanki says ICL bans are 'restraint of trade'

Cricinfo staff

Vikram Solanki: 'I'm no expert on legal matters but it seems like restraint of trade' © Getty Images
Former England batsman Vikram Solanki, who was in effect forced to withdraw from the Indian Cricket League or risk being barred from playing in England, has warned that such sanctions constitute a restraint of trade.

Joining in the escalating debate on English cricketers' role in the two leagues, Solanki also called on the Professional Cricketers' Association to demand clarification from the England board as to why players are being prevented from playing in India when it does not conflict with existing contracts.

"Sport in general is a short career for most people and you must take opportunities to maximise your earning potential," Solanki told PA Sport. "I haven't spoken to anyone in the England camp recently but I can see no reason why they wouldn't be tempted by the sums of money that are being offered.

"It's unreasonable to place sanctions, restrictions, rules without giving good reason. I'm baffled by the reasoning offered sometimes for some of the sanctions and us as a group of players and the PCA should demand some clarity on the matter definitely. I'm no expert on legal matters but it seems like restraint of trade.

"It remains to be seen what happens but in the next year or so, the face of cricket could change totally. People will find it hard to resist the money and that might be the big point that makes the changes to the traditional formats and seasons that we've grown accustomed to."

As for his own career, Solanki told PA Sport that he hoped his ICL involvement would not mean the end of his England chances. "I'd like to think if I had a reasonable year I'd have as good a chance as anyone of playing for England. This is what I mean about there being some reasoning behind if myself playing in the ICL should hinder my opportunities to play for England. If that is the case, then I haven't quite figured that out yet."