Indian Cricket League

BCCI offers amnesty for ICL players

Cricinfo staff

April 29, 2009

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Imran Nazir clears the boundary with ease, Hyderabad Heroes v Lahore Badshahs, 3rd final, ICL, Ahmedabad, November 16, 2008
Other national boards who have banned their ICL players from official cricket are expected to follow the BCCI's lead © ICL
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The Indian board has announced an "amnesty" for all Indian players associated with the ICL, who can return to official cricket provided they cut all ties with the unofficial league by May 31. The players who choose to return to the official fold will be eligible to play international cricket after a one-year 'cooling period' but can play domestic cricket from June 1, when the ICC's new rules on official and unofficial cricket come into force.

"A lot of cricketers and support staff with the ICL met us and told us that they committed a mistake by joining the ICL and they want to return to the BCCI," Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said after a meeting of the board, where the decision was taken. "They will be allowed to play domestic cricket immediately. "

It's learnt that other national boards who have banned their ICL players from official cricket are expected to follow suit. There are at least 85 Indian and 60 foreign players aligned with the ICL, which is bankrolled by India's largest listed media company, Zee Telefilms and headed by the country's lone World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev.

The country standing to gain the most from the decision is Pakistan, which has 20 players in the ICL of whom half - including Mohammad Yousuf - could expect to play for the national side. New Zealand, which has lost its most potent fast bowler, Shane Bond, has already said it could waive the cooling-off period.

There was no immediate reaction from the ICL but, shortly after news broke of the amnesty, Cricinfo received a statement from the league. "Taking forward its sports performance evaluation process across all cricket operations, the ICL management has decided not to renew the contracts of some of the ICL players and support staff that have expired", the statement, by the ICL's head Himanshu Mody, said. "As cricket professionals they are free to decide and explore their options."

The "sports performance evaluation process" Mody referred to was a review, revealed to Cricinfo in February, of its underperforming players.

The ICL and BCCI have been at loggerheads ever since the league was announced two years ago, in the aftermath of India's disastrous World Cup campaign. It was a revolutionary idea but lacked official sanction and soon paid the price for that. The Indian board hit back by blacklisting the league and those who joined it, as players or support staff, and a few months later announced the formation of the IPL.

The BCCI's stand was then adopted by most other boards who lost players to the IPL, though the ban has been applied selectively across the ICC's member nations; of late some ICL players, especially in Pakistan and New Zealand, have been admitted back to domestic cricket.

The ban remained a controversial issue, though, and the ICL lobbied hard with the ICC to have the status revoked. The ICC set up meeting between the league and the Indian board but the BCCI did not appear keen on a resolution and the meetings came to naught. Earlier this month, the ICC formally rejected an application by the ICL for "authorised unofficial" status, saying it did not meet its criteria.

News of the amnesty is expected to be welcomed by ICL players, though their return to the official fold is still several steps away.

Hemang Badani and Rohan Gavaskar, two of the ICL's leading Indian players, called the BCCI's offer a "positive decision" and good for the players.

"Some of us have been stuck with the ICL and not knowing where we are headed cricket-wise, especially after the March programme was cancelled," Badani told Cricinfo. "Some of the ICL money due to us was not coming through either, possibly due to the recession. But mostly some of us were frustrated because there just hasn't been enough cricket for us in the ICL. Of course, we played some good cricket in the ICL but not the quantity we expected."

However, Badani, who plays for Chennai Superstars, said he would decide within a week whether to take up the offer and would weigh his options carefully.

Gavaskar, who plays for Royal Bengal Tigers, said he hoped the ICL would not come in the way of players who wish to represent their country. "It is a positive decision because the BCCI is giving the ICL player an option," he said. "If they don't make use of this option they can't blame the BCCI in future. Also the ICL had said initially when they were recruiting players that they would not come in the way of a player if he gets a chance to play for the country."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Rajit on (May 1, 2009, 9:56 GMT)

This is the begining of the end for ICL for sure.They failed in providing cricket to the players and thats frustrating to say the least.Players like Ibrahim Khaleel,A Rayaddu,T P Singh ,G Vignesh etc can test their skill against the best of the current lot in IPL 3 instead of rubbing shoulders with a few retired players.A good news for Indian cricket.

Posted by AlwaysCharan on (April 30, 2009, 19:45 GMT)

It is really great to hear BCCI is offering Amnesty for ICL. I really want to see players like "AT Rayudu" get back to the Arena atleast through IPL 3! Hope Rayudu is Listening!

Posted by Dravidian on (April 30, 2009, 12:33 GMT)

BCCI and the likes are all hypocrites.. they wants sponsors to pay for their games and players but would not allow them to host a cricket tournament. Banadi and Gavaskar are just succumbing up to the lack of cricket.. and squealing to BCCI's offer. In my opinion ICC should step up and use it's own spine for decision making. When a board like BCCI has more money that its commonwealth counterparts .. corruption is at its peak.

Posted by mupariwa on (April 30, 2009, 12:27 GMT)

Its a dream for every cricket player to play for their country. BCCI have at last made a right decision though it is late. But just think why did players join ICL in spite knowing its an unofficial league. The players who joined ICL though they performed well have not been considered by their national selectors. Now after they get some recognition and their national team is void of good players, they are now adding a clause/option left to be decided by the players. A perfect example is Rayudu who made a revolution in under 19 world cup and domestic leagues has not been given due consideration by the selectors. Is BCCI really helping players to play for their country or they aim for taking away all the players from ICL and want to prove that this rebel league does not exist any more. Finally ICL remains rebel.

Posted by vinchester on (April 30, 2009, 9:27 GMT)

By announcing such news arbitarily without consultation, /discussion & mutual agreement with Icl, under the perview of ICC , BCCI is acting like a bully & showing off its muscle & money power. BCCI assumes all the Indian players will fall in line to its dictat& so with those of other countries; What if this doesnot happen? Then it will be a loss of face for Bcci. There will be several ICL players who will think that their chance of playing main stream cricket is very low with the present competition, & would prefer to remain in icl , as it involves a monthin a year & the balance time they can concentrate in other activities. besides the retired cricketers will definitely not leave ICL. Bcci is also silent on the pending dues to be paid to the ICL players.

Posted by gauravk on (April 30, 2009, 8:04 GMT)

I just want to say that if ICC and BCCI do not recognise ICL and BCCI even do not want players associated with ICL to be commentator in cricket matches then it should even not allow so called official cricket to be telecast on TV network of ZEE TV. Can they do it ? It would show how determined they are for cricket and not for money.

Posted by WASEEMSAJID on (April 30, 2009, 6:29 GMT)

Its great decision. Now i request PCB to think about Pakistani Players who were a part of ICL as our talent like Yousaf, Razzaq, Rana Naveed, & Sami etc. As all of them are our national heros and every Pakistani Cricket Lover wants to see them in team.

Posted by harisank on (April 30, 2009, 3:31 GMT)

BCCI does not recognize ICL, we can not blame ICL. ICL only started it all and BCCI saw the opportunity and with official tag, did not allow ICL to prosper. However in the interests of the sport in India, ICL should declare and wind up completely. BCCI or IPL should pay a compensation to ICL to cover for the wind up costs as the winding up would restore the focus on the sport without any divisions. Even if the compensation is not forthcoming, ICL should find ways of absorbing and clear the field for the bulldozer i.e., BCCI. There is no point in fighting with BCCI and conduct the sport and end up penalising the players for playing under ICL.

Posted by panda1947 on (April 29, 2009, 19:18 GMT)

I have nothing against the ICL but as a true Indian and world cricket fan, I do not support ICL at all. Any league that is to be played in India should be endorsed by BCCI and ICC at the world level. Otherwise there will be 100's of leagues like these in world cricket and you cannot watch the best of cricketing talent competing against each other like in IPL which is an official league. One cannot just be jealous of BCCI and make false claims that BCCI influences ICC. There should not be any problem if other cricket member boards start leagues but one can again not blame BCCI if the other boards are incapable of doing this due to monetary reasons as I think for sure BCCI will be more than happy to send its players to these other official leagues if and when created. Great Decision BCCI to take all players into your fold again and saving their futures as last thing any fan wants is a sportsperson's future getting spoilt due to this situation.

Posted by UsualSuspect on (April 29, 2009, 18:31 GMT)

BCCI, which is clearly afraid of healthy competition, is unethically exercising its money power on ICC. This does not bode well for the game. No true fan would like to see this happen to cricket.

Posted by paramjeetgem on (April 29, 2009, 17:00 GMT)

This is a fatal move by BCCI to completely KILL ICL. Very Bad One. With this move BCCI is tempting the Indian Players to step out from ICL. God only knows whether these players will even get any benefit after leaving ICL. But one thing is definitely sure that ICL is not gonna last long. Sad, but its not that bad too. Actually even ICL is not getting that much popularity either.

Posted by Lennon_Marx on (April 29, 2009, 16:46 GMT)

make no mistake, whether you feel the ICL has been unfairly manhandled by the IPL, or the IPL acted within its rights in issuing the blacklisting of these players in the first place, this is absolutely excellent news. You do wonder how much wrangling by nation's board went on behind the scenes, or whether someone made it clear that an ICL lawsuit could have legs, but nonetheless this backdown is interesting but does make me wonder to what extent the siege mentality on the ICL side has set in, and whether that may result in players contracted to the ICL protecting the shield so to speak and refusing to deal until the league receives full recognition or until they receive damages based on their lost earning in the time they were unable to play for their domestic or national teams. One wonders whether players who retired early from their domestic/national teams will seek compensation based on future earnings from the years they forsaked in joining the ICL before the blacklisting?

Posted by vsrajan on (April 29, 2009, 14:47 GMT)

Some one here commented that ICL is a money-making business..... then what about IPL? Is it not a money-making business with all the Bollywood stars going every where? They buy the teams to spend their money or to make more money? This person must be a BIG JOKER or he doesnt understand the concept. Both are money-making business but the only difference is IPL does it legally with Govt support whereas ICL didnt have that support or denied the opportunity. It was at the behest of BCCI who cannot stand to see other people make money in the name of cricket. It was run by Congressmen who cannot sit in the opposition in parliament and the same attitude is applied in BCCI. We are fools discussing on these issues without having any public say and players are BCCI's puppets (poor guys) they are trading commodities for BCCI. Just forget about all these dramas played by BCCI and enjoy the game of cricket and dont apply too much mind into it. We will go no where.

Posted by MrDynamic on (April 29, 2009, 13:37 GMT)

I totally agree with "Posted by Shakti_Chittara on April 29 2009, 11:53 AM GMT". Everybody knows that (including the other boards in the world and the ICC itself) and nobody can do anything. What a pity. That's the kind of society and human world we are living in.

Posted by HorseH on (April 29, 2009, 13:35 GMT)

Noun: amnesty 1. A period during which offenders are exempt from punishment 2. A warrant granting release from punishment for an offence 3. The formal act of liberating someone

Now what "offence" has any ICL player or support staff member committed? The only offence here is the actions of the BCCI in perpetrating a restraint of trade. Let's hope the ICL has the willingness and financial clout left to get this matter resolved in court and have justice done. Definition nr. 3 is particularly ironical. The BCCI are not "liberating" anyone here, in fact its the exact opposite; they are capturing and constraining all professional cricketers.

Posted by Subra on (April 29, 2009, 13:20 GMT)

At last we see the BCCI in its true colours. They are so powerful that the ICC is scared to offend them - because without the BCCI stamp of approval there is no money. Without the money ICC is powerless, so they have to eat humble pie and agree to whatever BCCI dictates. All that BCCI is concerned about is money - they should be given the absolute privilege to make money - no one else shall encroach into their territory. It will be interesting to see how the ICL reacts - pushed into a corner will they take the legal route or will they succumb. The next few days should prove to be eventful. I was hoping that common-sense would prevail and a Gandhian type of live and let life atmosphere prevail - but alas it is not to be. That this should happen in the land of the Mahatma who was an apostle of tolerance is all the more amazing. Siva from Singapore

Posted by Sekhar_S on (April 29, 2009, 12:41 GMT)

It was the ICL players themselves who said they are not satisfied with the quantity of cricket in the ICL and have written to the BCCI.Read the article before posting any baseless allegations about the BCCI.You expect players like Hemang Badani and Rohan Gavaskar to quit cricket altogether and do something else? They are desperate to play cricket and are seeking solace in the BCCI.There's nothing wrong in it.

Posted by skris on (April 29, 2009, 12:13 GMT)

I'm no fan of the BCCI but there's no point just blaming them alone for this fiasco. Where's the spine and guts of all the other boards? If a couple of them stand up to them and say we'll not ban our players whether they play in ICL or whatever league, then BCCI cant act in such a high handed manner.

The problem is all the boards are in cahoots with each other - end of the day they are all interested in only one thing - making money and tons of it. Thats why they have no problems getting into bed with such a spiteful and venomous snake which is the BCCI.

There's also the history of some of them having done it in their own backyard. Remember the Kerry Packer series and what the Oz board did? Nobody is holier than thou. The only thing that is holy is MONEY!!

Posted by Super_KID on (April 29, 2009, 12:11 GMT)

What's the meaning of this cooling of period? It's just a gambit played by BCCI to keep Pakistan and other good teams out of the race of T20 world cup in 2009. BCCI knows the only team which could snatch the title from them is Pakistan,With three of Pakistan's Most Fierce lions Imran Nazir ,Abdur Razzaq and Rana Naveed caged they are trying to hunt deer's in the jungle of England.

Posted by Shakti_Chittara on (April 29, 2009, 11:53 GMT)

This I guess is the last nail in the ICL's coffin. BCCI has been bullish in denying ICL a fair run. The name itself suggests that BCCI wants to CONTROL the cricket in India as if it were an Epidemic. To make the matter worse ICC is coming with new laws to handle "unauthorized cricket" post May. Who these bunch of jokers are to suggest which form of cricket is allowed and which is not. Dictators like Pawar and Modi want to just make BCCI a profit making organization. BCCI is bringing shame to our country & the sport.

Posted by hacVblogger on (April 29, 2009, 11:50 GMT)

I think it's a good option for Bangladeshi players to return home.Players like Nafees,Kapali and Aftab cannot play in domestic as well as international games.But BCB(Bangladesh Cricket Board) needs them, we need them to play again.Bashar and boys should resign from ICL and start playing in domestic cricket.

Posted by reality_check on (April 29, 2009, 11:49 GMT)

If ever there was any doubt about BCCI holding the ICC and other boards by their family jewels, this announcement should clear all that. He who has the money calls the shots.

In few years time, it will be just IPL circus around the clock and test and 50 over format will be history.

Posted by satyasainvs on (April 29, 2009, 11:45 GMT)

haha! BCCI & ICC just bluffing cricketers.. you know after rejecting recognition by ICC recently ICL has revealed that they will go definite to the court of justice. ICC has only option is to weakening the ICL. By giving this fruitful decision might be ICL players tempted to go back their domestic circuit. So ICL could be demolished.. And another reason i suspect in present season IPL some of the local players not performing upto their task so for next season IPL may get some more players available to make their business well. Let us see how the reaction from ICL. I feel BCCI bluffing that ICL players requesting them with apologies.. How shame this Indian cricket is..

Posted by Tiger_sixer on (April 29, 2009, 11:42 GMT)

Well if kapali, aftab and Nafis comes back to bangladeshi cricket it will be a great news ....

Posted by dazzler_arpan on (April 29, 2009, 11:39 GMT)

I think BCCI has made a great move.ICL was never a popular league and career of many were spoiled there.Now its for players for choose between IPL and ICL (those players didnt get this chance earlier to choose from as ICL was formed beforehand).ICL should buy a IPL franchise and IPL should extend no of franchise to 16 with teams from Kanpur,Kochi,Ahmedabad,Bhopal,Guwahati.. and form a 2 div system. ICL was always money making business and shuch unofficial cricket should not be allow to go ahead.Supreme court should ban ICL

Posted by nikhil11 on (April 29, 2009, 11:30 GMT)

Its good to see that the sad saga is comin to an end. Good for the players whose carriers where hanging in between the two swords of ICL & BCCI. i wont be surprised to see after 2 to 3 months ICL name in the books of history. But cant refrain from the fact "because of ICL we got IPL".... ICL..... RIP

Posted by ViewHopper on (April 29, 2009, 11:10 GMT)

Atlast! I thought the BCCI would NEVER let the ICL players play for the national team

Posted by TwitterJitter on (April 29, 2009, 11:08 GMT)

Good job BCCI! I hope the ICL players take advantage of the situation and return to the fold. I hope Zee is awarded an IPL team in the near future and all is well with Indian cricket.

Posted by Saalim1 on (April 29, 2009, 10:32 GMT)

and they blame bill gates for creating monopoly......as far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as unofficial league, there are icc endorsed leagues and the ones which are not, players should not be penalised for playing cricket anywhere in the world. One year cooling period is a contradiction and means end of career for many players.

Posted by Clean_hitter on (April 29, 2009, 10:20 GMT)

Sorry, got that a bit wrong there. But still, this is all abut the BCCI ensuring that the IPL has the pick of all the players.

Posted by infected-brains on (April 29, 2009, 10:17 GMT)

It makes me so sad to see BCCI using statements like, 'The players have admitted that they made a mistake by joining ICL.' No one can disprove that what BCCI does is pure bullying. BCCI is a pure form of profit making business.

AH!! it makes me so mad just thinking about what BCCI does.

Posted by FitzroyMarsupial on (April 29, 2009, 10:15 GMT)

Whilst I am pleased to see an end to this sorry farce it does not bode well that the BCCI has been able to destroy the IPL. Modi's God complex has, saadly, been reinforced. As a cricket fan I'm happy (and I'm sure Dan Vettori will be doing cartwheels about the potential return of Shane Bond). As someone who values fair play however I feel hollow. Tony Greig said it well it one of his recent podcasts -even if you're the dominant party, it pays when doing a deal to 'leave a bit in it for the other guy'. BCCI have humiliated the ICL and, given this, I'm sure Zee will slap injunction orders on all those ICL contracted players for breach of contract - forcing cricket to air its dirty laundry once more. We might get to see Warne v Lara next year - great! BCCI further reinforces its monopoly - not so great!

Posted by aussie_spinning_hope on (April 29, 2009, 10:06 GMT)

The BCCI would have never budged from granting 'official'status to the ICL anyway,and the treatment meted out to the domestic crickters,who had signed up with the 'rebel league',especially from the sub-continent was ridiculous. Thus,im sure that most of the cricketers and the officials involved with the ICL would severe all ties,and return back to their domestic folds.Im most happy for the cricketers,because i could understand and relate to the disillusionment and the pain they might have endured in the last year or so,for not being able to play domestic cricket or(for some),not being eligible to represent ones country.

The saddest part is,the decision-makers and parties involved in this entire fracas,have never played the game at a level to understand what these bunch of cricketers might have have gone through all this while.And these people still rule the game.Sad!

Posted by swaroop.mami on (April 29, 2009, 10:05 GMT)

Such benevolence. Man, I love the BCCI.

Posted by pankajbansal on (April 29, 2009, 10:02 GMT)

I am completely in accord with Nimeesha that this is just another attempt by BCCI to kill ICL. BCCI wants to enjoy the monopoly on cricket in India. We all know that ICL was the main brain behind popularising T20 in its current format but BCCI is hell bent on making it non-existant. This is just like a giant corporate ruling roost and destroying small organizations by its sheer size and scale. With ICL and IPL co-existing, not even audiences but all players are going to get benefitted as there will be a healthy competition between the two.

I think some regulatory body like competition commission of India (CCI) should step into it so that sanity can prevail.

Posted by KnowledgeSeeker on (April 29, 2009, 10:01 GMT)

This is really appalling. The BCCI needs to be taught a lesson in humility. They have to be told that they dont Cricket in India. If IPL is a non-government owned enterprise, then they have no rights to ban other enterprises. I wish we could all collectively do something about this.

Posted by reztran on (April 29, 2009, 9:58 GMT)

hmm..arent the players already shown their respect for money than country? is an amnesty applicable? I dont think so

Posted by bcciscorer on (April 29, 2009, 9:55 GMT)

Its a boon to players and officials who are with ICL. Really BCCI has shown mercy on them. They should realise . The punishment of one year ban from representing International Cricket is justified. Because there should be punishment for mistake. Really GOOD DECISION BCCI>

Posted by Clean_hitter on (April 29, 2009, 9:54 GMT)

Not hard to see what's going on here, The ICC is actually appeasing the BCCI by making sure that the IPL has complete pick over the player pool.

Posted by Bornon27th on (April 29, 2009, 9:54 GMT)

What a bunch of losers!!!! The most simple option would have been to have the ICL as a secondary league with the IPL as the primary league.

The bottom 2 teams of IPL get relegated to the ICL and the top 2 teams of ICL could qualify for the next edition of the IPL. This is a model used in all football leagues around the world.

It would have given enough motivation and would have meant that all parties concerned are really bothered about the future of cricket and cricketers.

Instead we will get lots of rabble rousing from the BCCI on how great they are. Monopolies in any venture never survive.

Posted by drsharif35 on (April 29, 2009, 9:52 GMT)

definitely its a great news to all (players+ support staffs) concerned with ICL & the concerned national boards to wake up! but I think the cooling period is too long. another important issue should be handled with care by ICC,BCCI & other boards about the consequences of breaking the contract with ICL,otherwise it will not serve the purpose properly. thanks.

Posted by QueData on (April 29, 2009, 9:52 GMT)

BCCI: Kill the "Cooling Period"!!!! I careless about the Indian players but I do care about the Pakistani players. T20 worldcup is round the corner and I want ICL Pakistani players to play the tournament. BCCI: this is the least you could do for these players!!!

Posted by CricketisMyPassion on (April 29, 2009, 9:51 GMT)

Another triumph for money-muscle over principles of fair play. It was not 'cricket' when BCCI ostracized ICL and its players and ICC kow-towed BCCI. (Well, ICC has always been imbecile - earlier they were the slaves of veto-wielding England and Australia and now the only money spinner BCCI. Atleast BCCI provides something in return to ICC unlike the previous hegemony of England-Australia!)

IPL is just as legitimate as ICL except that the entire BCCI officials backed the IPL which borrowed (stole?) the concept from ICL.

Purely from the ICL signed up players point of view this is a welcome news.

Posted by debapriyo on (April 29, 2009, 9:50 GMT)

Can we beat up the BCCI guys?

What is IPL after all? It is an imitation of ICL by all means. And what a shame, it is projected as Lalit Modi's brainchild! Yesterday, I saw that moron on the TV, distributing autographs to fans, like the valuable cricketer do. Ridiculous. It's just because of BCCI's ego that ICL did not get the pride and recognition that it should have got, and instead IPL is getting that.

Another instance of ultimate power reigning over everything else. Poor players now have to suffer.

Posted by Matty_Gerco on (April 29, 2009, 9:49 GMT)

Wow.

How the BCCI was able to sum up such generosity I'll never know. Truly a great benevolent organisation, the BCCI. And by benevolent I mean despotic. But I'm sure they will be strong arming countries into doing what they want soon enough.

Posted by maj1c on (April 29, 2009, 9:47 GMT)

It's a step in the right direction, but a one year cooling period is a joke!!. I also cannot understand why no one from the ICL took the BCCI and ICC to court over the ICL.

Posted by Sundar-Gothenburg on (April 29, 2009, 9:45 GMT)

One Important Point That I had always Wanted to Say in Forum is : IF BCCI is not allwoing Players representing ICL, Then BCCI should be treated like a Private Club. Why do they get Tax Exemption for the Money they Receive. They are just like any Profit Organization. They shouldnt use the India Logo. They dont represent India. For example, India Participates in Olympics. Is their any restriction in selecting the Olympics team like this. The Team India should be called as BCCI India. Its not India Vs Pakistan. Its BCCI India Vs PCB Pakistan. I wonder why this aspect is not argued ?

Posted by bobmartin on (April 29, 2009, 9:38 GMT)

How wonderful to see the BCCI's version of democracy and freedom of employment is alive and well.. Yes you can play cricket for a living in India providing you only play in teams we specify. Whoever said cricket was a gentlemans game had obviously never heard of the BCCI which stands for Blackmailers Control Cricket in India.

Posted by ashishkdwivedi on (April 29, 2009, 9:34 GMT)

I think BCCI is killing ICL - sitting high on success of IPL. In fact what IPL has done for indian cricket - not much!!! Well nobody is trying to improve cricket at grass root level - everybody is just intereseted in making money & now BCCI is trying to lure players to play for IPL - but will they get any chance to play looking at the present scenario. How many local cricketers who have been picked up in IPL are really playing?

Posted by Wanderer.Forever on (April 29, 2009, 9:33 GMT)

This is absolutely ridiculous! I'm not a great fan of Zee TV network but to allow BCCI to run amok and absolutely demolish a private venture is not acceptable. Can someone from the govt. wake up and do something about this? The Sharad Pawars, Lalit Modis and IS Bindras of the Indian cricketing world will stop at nothing to ensure that their coffers are full, even at the cost of players, public & cricket itself!

One can clearly see whats coming. The younger lot (with some hope left of playing international cricket) will desert ICL and return to the BCCI. ICL (already a struggling enterprise), left with retired Indian and Foreign players will resemble "old boys" club and lose any charm that it may have had. Eventually, it will disappear...

What a shame!!!!

Posted by mabes on (April 29, 2009, 9:31 GMT)

BCCI is a joke...

BRING BACK BOND!!

Posted by bhuschamps on (April 29, 2009, 9:25 GMT)

This is another case of bullying by the BCCI. ICL should go to anti-monopolies commission on this. Sad for development of cricket.

Posted by pankajbansal on (April 29, 2009, 9:22 GMT)

Disgusting!! Its totally against competition!! Its a sort of monoply which BCCI is enjoying in India. Everybody knows that ICL was the brain behind popularising T20 in its current format and BCCI is hell bent on killing it just like a giant corporation kills small organizations by its sheer size and scale. I think some regulatory body like competition commission of India (CCI) should interfer into this so that sanity can prevail.

Posted by Batsnumbereleven on (April 29, 2009, 9:15 GMT)

What a joke! "Oo, you can come and play in our game if you want but you can't play with those boys because we don't like them"

If BCCI want IPL to be the best competition, then they have to demonstrate it on the field, not through banning the ICL and its players.

Posted by crick3t on (April 29, 2009, 9:12 GMT)

In my opinion, the BCCI are abusing there power. Why shouldn't you be allowed to play for another league? Why did they label it the 'rebel' league? The BCCI are putting their interests ahead of cricket. They are obviously irritated that they didn't think of it (20/20 competition) first, so they just muscled their way in.

Posted by shelu on (April 29, 2009, 8:55 GMT)

How very generous of the BCCI! I'm weeping...

Posted by AnujRoy on (April 29, 2009, 8:54 GMT)

This is a wonderful piece of news. Players were the only victims in this whole issue. I hope they make the right decision. Now with IPL in place, they should not worry much about money part.

Posted by robheinen on (April 29, 2009, 8:54 GMT)

The whole handling of the ICL by the ICC & BCCI give a whole new meaning to the word democracy. Seldom do you see a private venture so openly demolished as the ICL. It makes me wonder if there's no antitrust legislation in India? This is a disgrace to the cricketing world.

Posted by Nimeesha on (April 29, 2009, 8:39 GMT)

i think this a pure caseof Big Boys Bullying!!! The BCCI has pulled all strings with the ICC to ensure that the ICL is not recognised and its players are left stranded. Offering them this amnesty is just another way of ensuring that the ICL never takes off!!!! The ICC needs to wake up and live up to its name of International Cricket Council!!!!!

Posted by azzu_sust on (April 29, 2009, 8:33 GMT)

Thanks BCCI. But the cooling period is too lengthy. I believe if players don't join the August season of ICL, that's good enough.

Posted by Prats6 on (April 29, 2009, 8:32 GMT)

As expected, was on the cards but 1 year is too much of a cooling period. Still something is better than nothing. Also there might be litigations against the players contracted by ICL when they break their contract, what about that ? Will the BCCI take care of that. One thing, it will kill the ICL off the Indian players for sure. And with no Indian playing the league will cease to exist.

Posted by LITT on (April 29, 2009, 8:32 GMT)

this is great news. eventhough ICL has pioneered the city based leagues, but I think time has come for them to leave. may be, ICL themselves should release all players and officials and stop working. I m excited to see some great ICL players, many of whom, i guess, will play in IPL 2010

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