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ICL plans for absence of Lahore Badshahs

Cricinfo staff

December 30, 2008

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Lahore Badhshahs may not get to defend their ICL 20-20 Indian Championship crown © ICL
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The participation of the Lahore Badshahs in the next ICL season remains unclear, given the state of India-Pakistan relations, and league officials are contemplating a format without the team from Pakistan.

Kiran More, ICL executive board member, said the prevailing political situation does not guarantee the participation of Lahore Badshahs and the players had been made aware of the situation.

"It is not favourable at the moment and that is what we have discussed with the Pakistan players," More told Cricinfo.

He said Moin Khan, the Lahore Badshahs coach, had asked for an update on their participation in season three and was told conditions weren't favourable. "I told him [Moin Khan] this is nothing new as things have been stalled in the past in similar situations."

Things will get clearer, he said, when the ICL executive board meets in Mumbai on January 5-6 to chalk out plans for the new season. "Himanshu Mody, Kapil Dev and other top officials, will discuss the change in format where we can think of continuing with the World Series even in the absence of the Badshahs," said More.

Asked about the outcome of the internal review process for the second season, More said the members mainly discussed the state of the cricket played and the new features that could be added to enhance both the quality of play and the player.

"We will be looking at some young international faces, not necessarily players who have represented their country. We also want to hold more games including more 50-overs tournaments at the Under-15 level, " More said.

However, he denied that the ICL were facing a stiff challenge to find more venues with the BCCI warning state associations, and said two new grounds were likely be added to the existing venues. "Lucknow has been very keen to host the ICL as there are a lot of Uttar Pradesh players and Vishakapatnam will be the other venue likely to feature next year."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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