Miandad urges Pakistan board to recognise ICL
Javed Miandad wants the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to recognise the Indian Cricket League (ICL) before it escalates into the magnitude of Kerry Packer's parallel World Series 30 years ago. "I don't think this policy of banning players is going to work practically," Miandad was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. "Since the ICL is not something which the governments have objected to, I think any player can go to court and challenge any ban on him to play in and for his country.
"The International Cricket Council and its member boards need to take the ICL seriously. Because it has the potential like the Kerry Packer series to snowball into something big."
The PCB has reiterated that any contracted player joining the ICL would thereafter not be considered for selection for Pakistan. So far Inzamam-ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat have signed up to play in the breakaway contest in its initial season.
According to Miandad, this was due to a sense of uncertainty and lack of financial security. "Every player has to look to his future and security," he said. "In Pakistan there is no financial security for your retirement days."
Miandad, who played in the Packer series and appeared in 124 Tests for Pakistan, said the ICL could serve as a flashpoint between international players and the ICC and its member boards. "For sometime now the players have been complaining of excessive cricket and not enough wages. The ICL offers them an alternative."
Meanwhile, in India, former captains, Ajit Wadekar and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, have criticised the Indian board for banning players participating in the ICL.
"The board has been harsh on the ICL," Wadekar told Reuters. "The ICL's intention seems to be to give a boost to domestic cricket and provide a platform for players who do not get a chance to play for India." He also felt that withdrawing the pensions of former players who have aligned with the ICL was unfair as the players had earned the benefits for services they rendered earlier.
"I don't think you can ban players as long as they fulfil their commitments to the board," Pataudi too told Reuters. "If there is a clash of commitments, then of course it is a different matter entirely."