Indian Cricket League

ICL's bid for recognition rejected

Cricinfo staff

April 18, 2009

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

The men who run the game meet in Dubai at the ICC executive meeting, Dubai, April 18, 2009
Cricket's governing body during the meeting where it decided to continue to shun the ICL © Getty Images

The ICC has rejected the Indian Cricket League's application for official recognition and has said the status of the league's players will be decided by individual member boards.

The decision was taken by the ICC at its board meeting in Dubai on Saturday. The application had been filed last year by the ICL, which is owned by India's largest media group, Zee Telefilms, and is not recognised by the Indian board or the ICC.

A statement from the ICC said it had examined the application against existing criteria for approving such requests, including whether the home board's approval had been secured.

"The board gave the matter careful consideration but, looking at the criteria set out in the regulations, felt the application for approval could not be granted," the ICC's chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, said.

Asked about the legal implications of the decision, Lorgat said: "If it becomes a legal action we will take it as it comes and will not make any comments on that."

"It's absolutely unfair and extremely disappointing," Kiran More, an ICL board member, told Cricinfo. "We will now definitely take the legal route for resolution of this issue. We could have done that earlier but were hoping for a fair decision from the ICC." The ICL, he said, was planning to approach courts in the UK, where stringent trade laws prevail.

On the issue of players returning to official cricket from the ICL, the board said the fabric of the game needed to be protected and a clear message sent out that players could not swap between official and unofficial cricket at will.

However, it was confirmed that the nature and scope of any sanction would ultimately be a matter for each individual member to determine, based on local conditions.

"It's a very unfortunate decision from a player's point of view," Deep Dasgupta, the former India wicketkeeeper who plays for the ICL's Royal Bengal Tigers, told Cricinfo. "To us, the official approach has always seemed a bit monopolistic. Over the last year, we used to wait eagerly for every such ICC meeting, hoping for a positive solution. But every time, it has been very disappointing. At the end of the day, we just want to play cricket, period."

The decision comes three days after the ICL announced that the third edition of its domestic tournament would be held in October. There was no mention, however, of the ICL World Series, in which national XIs are pitted against each other, a competition that had the ICC worried last year because it had the potential to develop into an alternate World Cup.

The ICC's stand essentially reiterates its position of last year, when it left the matter of sanctions against players to the individual boards, most of whom chose to ban them from all forms of official cricket. However, there were some exceptions like New Zealand, which has allowed some of their ICL players to play in domestic cricket.

Pakistan had initially imposed a complete ban on its ICL players but was then directed, by a court order, to let them play in the domestic circuit this year. The Pakistan Cricket Board then mooted the idea of allowing ICL players who are ready to cut all ties with the league to return to international cricket after a 'cooling period' of 6-12 months.

England, on the other hand, had a number of ICL players in the county circuit last year but they have since been eased out. The Indian and Australian boards have adopted the most stringent stand against the unofficial league, banning its players from all official contact.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by frankjose on (April 23, 2009, 11:47 GMT)

The formation of the ICL and the IPL has in a way been some kind of a blessing in disguise. Something that could (if we are ready to think out of the box) make both leagues strongly competitive. Consider the format of league football in England. There are 20 teams in the Premier League and 20 teams in the First Division (or Championship). There are even lower divisions but this explanation emphasizes only 2. At the end of every season, the 3 worst performers (teams finishing in the last 3 positions) of the Premier League are relegated to the Championship while the top 2 performers and 1 team among the next 4 top performers of the Championship go to the Premier League. Now we just need to map the IPL and ICL to these two leagues. I would certainly map the IPL to the EPL and ICL to the Championship - that's it problem solved. Hope everyone is still listening - especially Mr Lalit Modi and Mr Subash Chandra. Please think out of the box and set aside egos - it will surely benefit cricket!

Posted by mounsq on (April 20, 2009, 10:33 GMT)

This is poor from ICC to ban ICL. At the end of the day its just Cricket for what they all are playing for and providing good quality cricket for us . ICC should reconsider this and accept ICL warmly with open arms.

Posted by HarishVS on (April 20, 2009, 9:58 GMT)

I completely agree with venkat_75r. It is as simple as that. Unless there is a collaboration of both BCCI and ICL into one board/company/etc, I dont think ICL players can be taken back by any home boards of ICC. Also, Mr Venkat had made a very valid point, how do you develop cricket by playing 20-20 once in a year? I think of all the comments on all the articles on cricinfo or elsewhere so far on ICL, these comments by Venkat has been the most precise and to be acknowledged with praise. Anything else by anyone else in any forum will just be a waste of time and mind!

Posted by HowZatbro on (April 20, 2009, 5:56 GMT)

This reminds me of the old Gore Vidal saying "its not enough to succeed, other must fail"

Posted by ajaydesai on (April 19, 2009, 20:28 GMT)

BCCI contols cricket in world as it major income generator for cricket in world. So ICC will go as per BCCI guidelines. ICL have no chance to get official recognition unless BCCI agrees. Courts in India will not able to deliver judgement as BCCI is chaired by Sharad Pawar and everyone knows how court decisions in India are influenced by politicians. BCCI does not want any competition like all businesses ran in India and also unfortunately there are loopholes in anti monopoly laws. I feel sad for ICL who came up with idea and was stolen by BCCI. Only way to get ICL recongized is boycott all IPL games and get hurt BCCI finacially.

Posted by AshJha on (April 19, 2009, 20:16 GMT)

It would be an amazing thing if ICL and IPL both have their winning teams play each other. Something like here in the USA where you have AFC anf NFC in NFL. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a SUPERBOWL of Cricket? Only if there was no politics and lot of money involved, every cricket loving person on this earth would definitely want this to happen.

Posted by IndianMigrant on (April 19, 2009, 15:58 GMT)

Rubbish,ICL shouldn't be recognised by ICC. ICL is a rebel league in opposition to ICC and BCCI. ICC cannot recognise two bodies from the same country. Players should not be allowed to represent both ICL and ICC. It's simple logic that you cannot work for two employers at the same time. But ICC should take in players after a cooling in period say 6 months or a year. ICL wants to have it's cake and eat it too.If you are a rebel league don't request recognition from the governing body. Prove that your own league is superior to the official league and you can have your own official body. ICL is gaining support for one simple reason that is a indian rebel league, the whole cricketing world wants to see India's downfall because it has all the wealth. If a rebel league has been formed in Australia or England or Newzealand people would have voted it down completely. Just for record i love both ICL and IPL but ICL should grow on it's not look for recognition from ICC which it is opposing

Posted by venkat_75r on (April 19, 2009, 15:10 GMT)

It is very simple. BCCI is an employer and the players playing for them are their employees. ICL is another company (a competitor to BCCI). As employees of BCCI, the players do not have right to work for another company (ICL). They can do so by resigning from BCCI and join ICL. That is what lot of players did. BCCI was right in ignoring them. Which employer will accept an employee working in two companies at the sametime. BCCI is a part of ICC (assume as a parent company). An employee of BCCI directly becomes employee of ICC. So, how can you expect ICC to recognise ICL (who is not part of BCCI). The players joined ICL because they were paid lot of money just like an employee resigns and joins another company. ICL was created just because ZEE did not get the television right. The talking of developing cricket is just an eyewash. How can you develop the skills just by playing 20-20 cricket and that too once in a year.

Posted by satyasainvs on (April 19, 2009, 15:08 GMT)

I say IPL is jus copy of ICL.. Actually BCCI has to praise ICL for making such idea.. Really it is funny that Kapil's idea making money for BCCI.. ICC has to shame for such decision. Where ICC is thinking to promoting cricket or just making money out of it. It is shame for ICC and shame for the cricket to obstructing someone willing to play for their countries.. Shame for everyone Indian to raise their voice against ICC and BCCI.

Posted by TrueFactors on (April 19, 2009, 14:46 GMT)

Why dont ICL inspire other countries to prepare a league or board and create their own form of ICC board as well, that works parallel to current system? These are playing their personal game. They can form a cricket and play agianst each other as well just like one ICC format and another ICF format - International Cricket Federation.

Posted by Arshad-SL on (April 19, 2009, 13:37 GMT)

This decission is horrendous and unfair to all those involved in ICL whether the sponsors,organizers,players, staff etc., I do not understand the rationale behind the baning ICL first of all and depriving the league and naming it as unauthorised,illegal whatever terms be that.

In my view and I beleive almost other readers,ICl should have taken the matter to court's long time ago or rather at the first instance to rectify this anomaly. They, not only should do it for themselves but on behalf of other players as well to sue ICC and all other individual cricket boards for the unfair treatment and injustice done to the world cricket and cricketers whoever had palced their commitment to it. They should seek compensation for all the injustice done!.

Good luck ICL!

Posted by ivanjoseph on (April 19, 2009, 12:47 GMT)

This is not ok. Why is the IPL ok and the ICL not? Nobody has a monopoly on the game in India so how can ICL be banned? My problem with this is that it shows that money silences everybody - I think many of those involved in the IPL will silently agree that this is the wrong thing to do but are afraid to say anything. To me a Hemang Badani or a Jason Gillespie or a Marvan Attapattu are just as good cricketers as any in the IPL and as professionals should be allowed to play wherever they get the best deal. Isn't that how it is in any professional set up? So why is this different? The ICC has shown that it lacks backbone - they are the custodians of cricket played around the world - they should act in that fashion. Here they have shown themselves to be mere stooges. Shameful and wrong.

Posted by Ismailtoca on (April 19, 2009, 12:45 GMT)

India should be praising the ICL instead. All the players who werent getting a chance to represent the Indian side now can make enough money to feed their families!

Posted by Ismailtoca on (April 19, 2009, 12:42 GMT)

The BCCI and ICC have no right to ban ICL!!!!!

There are numerous people playing on the streets in India/Pakistan. Some are even betting on the match.

What next ban every one from playing cricket???

Posted by cricket_first_everything_next on (April 19, 2009, 11:57 GMT)

this is absolutely rubbish....

the recurring ban on ICL is a shame for Cricket.

I'm sure atleast 90% cricket lovers are against this move. BCCI is playing 'GOD'... First they copied the entire concept of ICL to IPL, then the banned it to promote (encash) IPL..

I urge cricinfo to protest this wayward act with all its available resources.

Further, I suggest cricinfo to start a poll, taking cricket-lovers' opnion on whether ICL should be banned or not.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (April 19, 2009, 6:25 GMT)

As an Indian I am embarrassed by what BCCI is doing. I hope the English courts crack the whip on ICC and tell them to behave ethically. How on earth can playing cricket be illegal? when it doesn't involve any controversial countries? Don't I wish for Lalit Modi's downfall!

Posted by ageofsagar2009 on (April 19, 2009, 6:02 GMT)

ICL should never be recogonised by ICC. Its only a buisness promotion. Its also a Twenty 20 contest which spoils the fun for the fans. If you are a real cricket fan you should see Test Cricket for 5 days this is a 3 hour game mostly won by fluke. The real batsmenship is in a test. The people supporting ICL are not cricket fans they see cricket for their timepass ICC is right by not approving ICL it should be banned soon

Posted by Jonno_D on (April 19, 2009, 5:28 GMT)

As has been said, this is not a decision, it is passing the buck.

For once, though, the ICC is right to pass the buck. This is an issue between ICL and BCCI, pretending that the ICC should recognise the tournament independently is a red herring.

Posted by ArunShastry on (April 19, 2009, 4:36 GMT)

Wouldn't it be great if there was a Tendulkar vs. Lara contest in a T20 game? If only the BCCI hegemony had more concern for cricket than its own monopoly.

Posted by Nerk on (April 19, 2009, 3:37 GMT)

The problem is no side is willing to do anything for the good of the game. if they did wish to protect the game they would find a suitable compromise. I mean, why not have the IPL as division one and the ICL as division two, just as in English football where Barclycard are sponsors of the premier league and coca cola sponsor the lower leagues. That way everyone gets a share, and the ICC can get above this rubbish and start governing the game in the interest of the players and fans, not the major companies.

Posted by hafeezpakistan on (April 19, 2009, 3:36 GMT)

i think the ban on icl is totally unfair. icl is doing a great job by giving the world especially India the new talent. BCCI is only angry because they re not getting share in money. ICL was a wonderful idea which BCCI did not like it, although they used the same idea and started the IPL. I Salute the Kapil Dev, he is the real cricket hero and a real fighter and is still fighting to give the world the new image to cricket. At last the ICC will recognise the ICL. I want Indians who love cricket to come forward and support the ICL and put pressure on BCCI to recognise the ICL.

Posted by jayray999 on (April 19, 2009, 3:09 GMT)

@Roamer. Like you I disagree with the decision. But you cannot say it is the result of pro-Indian bias. The ICL, after all is the INDIAN Cricket League. Do not equate the BCCI with India or even the Indian government. Consider this. The Indian Home Minister refused to give into the BCCI's demands. This resulted in the second edition of the IPL moving to South Africa. Think about it. But I agree that it was a bad decision that will be struck down in any court in the world.

Posted by Thomas_Ratnam on (April 19, 2009, 0:26 GMT)

I believe the ICC could have taken a middle path. The ICL could be an unofficial league without being called illegal. The players should not be banned but allowed to prioritize their time to play official domestic and international tournaments. Why is the ICL considered illegal? Are they breaking any laws? Obviously the Indian power house calls all the shots. As has been observed by many fans here and elsewhere, as long as that unhealthy trend continues, cricket will suffer. Period.

Posted by shabrez on (April 18, 2009, 23:07 GMT)

I mean I cant understand why a bann?....Horrible decision by ICC..I hope ICL win the case in court..

Posted by reztran on (April 18, 2009, 21:39 GMT)

its surprising how Bangladesh gets ignored. Heck IPL devastated the team and the Bangladesh Cricket Board almost abolished the criketers sheer existence virtually tagging them as rebels in the Press. most of the other participants were from an established cricket base, but Bangladesh lose almost the whole squad. The unrecognized ICL thus brings an end to a hope we started to see, for the simple urge of getting some of the golden sons back.

Posted by Roamer on (April 18, 2009, 20:48 GMT)

How far can ICC (read Indian Cricket Council) go to prove themselves biased !!! God this is really shocking .... my impression about ICC was that their main goal is to promote cricket, not stop the promotion of this wonderful game !!! shocking really shocking !!!

Posted by subashsb on (April 18, 2009, 20:31 GMT)

To all those who support the ruling, let me ask this question. Think about the reasons lalit modi gave to reject ICL,but now IPL is posing the same threat to international cricket. Players from major test playing nations are more willing to play in IPL than serving their national team.

ICC has become just like UNO,governed by one nation.

Posted by crickanraj on (April 18, 2009, 20:24 GMT)

ICL is a company or league floated by Zee only to create problem to BCCI for not awarding them the telecast rights. There is no intention of promoting any cricket. It is being run as a company even now. Just because Kapil is there we can not not support ICL. If it is approved by ICC, then we can see mushrooming of many leagues in every country. Even now many companies are promoting teams and giveing job to players and giving encouragement and sponsorship to them This also can be done by Zee. Instead they promoted their own league and now want the ICC to approve it. Why? The decision of ICC is correct.

Posted by subashsb on (April 18, 2009, 20:22 GMT)

BCCI wants to comply wipe out ICL. Thanks to the good work done by lalit modi & co

Posted by jkplatinum25 on (April 18, 2009, 19:21 GMT)

This ruling just proves that the ICC is owned by the BCCI and IPL..Shame on them

Posted by LittleInzi on (April 18, 2009, 19:08 GMT)

Yet again the ICC proves to be strong. It has proved to be strong by following BCCI. I mean which other genius body could do it. How dare would they recognize ICL. Its just a matter of time before we see another cricket authority body being set up. Hopefully it happens and no Indians are involved. The ICC, along with BCCI should be banned for even existing.

Posted by dazzler_arpan on (April 18, 2009, 18:54 GMT)

I think ICC did right thing.Kudos to them.Allowing ICL will create a mess and tomorrow many such unauthorized leagues can come up..We have to go by some standards.ICL should be banned by courts or ICL should buy a IPL new franchise .

Posted by LokuBanda on (April 18, 2009, 18:47 GMT)

This shows the real reason why Arjuna Ranathunga was kicked out of SLC. If he was there he should have fought against this disgusting and stinking decision.

Posted by Chiligonzales on (April 18, 2009, 18:23 GMT)

Its a good job that the ICC feel cricket is attracting a new audience because the petulance of the BCCI and the cowardness and incompetence of ICC is starting to drive me other once avid fans away. The ICC has shown that it is now merely like the UN of the '1930's' - A powerless offical regulator.

Posted by satyasainvs on (April 18, 2009, 18:13 GMT)

It's very poor decision by ICC. Should have consider and give recognition to ICL poor chaps. They are eager to play for their nations. I feel we fellow Indians should raise voice against ICL to recognise. Why don't we flow our mails to BCCI straight to show our interest to recognise ICL. I don't think they are doing nothing wrong. Even in IPL how many young indians sacked from their franchises. I feel not all get good recognition in IPL. We should stop watching IPL matches.

Posted by Nilesh_Kamath on (April 18, 2009, 17:58 GMT)

The ICC is correct on its part. The ICL was started after the dispute over TV rights and not for the betterment of cricket.If this goes on anybody and everybody will start their own leagues.Will FIFA tolerate if somebody starts a parallel league.The sanction of Sports bodies in all sports is required to start any leauges or tournaments.

Posted by ketan13 on (April 18, 2009, 17:40 GMT)

Very very unfortunate :The ICC/BCCI believe that they own cricket .They have again shown a lack vision as cricket administrators and a '20-20' vision in monetary matters .I am very disappointed as a cricket fan- IPL poses the exact same threats that the ICl poses .

Posted by Lennon_Marx on (April 18, 2009, 17:25 GMT)

good on the ICC for adding yet again to its magnificent record of utter incompetence on almost any issue. Given that its been acknowledged previously that the ICL and its players may well have a very strong case against the ICC, and that it has nothing to lose from trying to get its day in court, it's just astonishing that the ICC clearly hasn't learned from the experience of Kerry Packer and World Series Cricket. The right way to go about this, and what any group of people with a cumulative total of at least two brain cells would have done is to neutralize the threat by making the official version more tempting than the unofficial and provide an amnesty to those who'd been duped by the lesser form. Instead they back the ICL and its players into a corner so they have nothing to lose at all, and must fight back with everything they have. Bravo! ICC once again you have shown that you are incapable of making a sensible decision if your lives depended on it.

Posted by HowZatbro on (April 18, 2009, 16:38 GMT)

On what basis have they rejected the ICL? they did not even clarify. The ICC is shamelessly catering to the BCCI

Posted by masumaman on (April 18, 2009, 16:05 GMT)

so BCCI intervene ICC's decision? lol

Posted by perl57 on (April 18, 2009, 15:54 GMT)

Well it is unfair but keep BCCI out of it and you would realize that the decision was correct. You cannot give a go-green for every organization to set up a rebel league. The game will die quickly. There is no other way to it. Think of all vulnerabilities and you would end up with the same answer I had got.

Posted by BoonBoom on (April 18, 2009, 15:41 GMT)

I fail to understand the basic reason why ICL is not recognized by ICC and why ICL players are not allowed to play international cricket? If Indian board has any friction with anyone, does that mean they are kicked out from cricket? This is not cricket anymore.

Will soneone pls explain me under what rule ICL players are banned?

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (April 18, 2009, 15:31 GMT)

I feel that the main reason why the ICL players have been banned is that the BCCI did not think of it first, and that to treat people who played in the inaugural ICL like convicted paedophiles merely underlines the hideous and overplayed nature of this envy. Further the meakness of the response in some countries to the demands of the BCCI seems to suggest that there is an unhealthy movement in cricket towards allowing one powerful body to dictate to everyone. The refusal of the organisers of the initial 20/20 champions trophy to allow KentCCC to take their rightful place is one example of supine acquiescence; another is Surrey CCC's grovelling to the BCCI with the abjectly pathetic sacking of Saqlain Mushtaq who to all appearance was the only bowler in the club worth a place. Add to that Lalit Modi's exotic world view and one can only wonder what the future holds. Surely 20/20 anyway is mere frippery compared to Tests or am I in the wrong place?

Posted by davidmoz on (April 18, 2009, 15:30 GMT)

Typical ICC! They'd rather past the buck instead of doing something decisive (like with the whole England touring Zimbabwe fiasco). What's the point of haing an international body for cricket if it's just going to pass on every possible decision to national boards?

Posted by Zain-ul-Abideen on (April 18, 2009, 15:23 GMT)

I think ICL should now take the matters to the court. They have a strong case to defend. It is just because of BCCI's dominance in ICC, this decision has been taken.

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