Board loss leaves policy in tatters April 30, 2008

ICL trio win appeal against ECB ban

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Hall, Justin Kemp and Johan van der Wath have won their appeals against an ECB block on them being registered to play in England this summer. The three South Africans had initially been refused registration after competing in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League.

Andrew Fitch-Holland, who represents Hall, told Cricinfo the appeal, which was heard at The Oval, was against an "unlawful, unreasonable, capricious and discriminatory" ban. Hall and van der Wath can play immediately for Northamptonshire while Kemp is available for Kent. A fourth player - Wavell Hinds - also had his registration turned down in April but has since signed as an overseas player for Derbyshire.

Much of the confusion came as players such as Hall had signed for the ICL before it became clear that they risked being ostracised, while others took advice as well as ensuring that their deals with the ICL did not clash with county contracts. Only later did it become clear that they might be barred for their involvement.

"It's unfortunate the ECB refused the registration in the first place and that we had the time and expense of the appeals process," Fitch-Holland said. "The outcome vindicates our stand."

The players had to pay £1000 each towards the cost of the hearing but it is believed that their counties settled that on their behalf.

The decision by a three-man tribunal leaves the ECB's policy of falling into line with the wishes of the Indian board in refusing ICL players permission to play domestic cricket in tatters. Originally the board had sought to block all overseas and Kolpak ICL players but gradually it has been forced to accept more and more of them.