India news June 22, 2011

BCCI did not exert pressure to outlaw ICL - Arendse


The ICC's endorsement on the banning of the ICL was not a result of arm-twisting by the BCCI, but of allowing its members autonomy in deciding which domestic tournaments to recognise, according to Norman Arendse, former CSA President. Arendse also confirmed that the ICC constitution was not changed in dealing with the ICL issue, as claimed by former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, but that clauses were added to its operating manual to clarify what constitutes disapproved cricket.

"There were no undue processes, incentives offered or pressure exerted on the ICC to outlaw the ICL," he told ESPNCricinfo, contradicting Modi's revelations that the BCCI essentially forced the global cricket community to freeze out the ICL.

Arendse, who served as CSA President in 2007 and 2008, was a member of the ICC's executive board at the time when the ICL and IPL were being conceptualised. "The issue of the IPL was tabled at an executive meeting," he said. "The BCCI informed the board of the ICL and the IPL and said that because the IPL was their creation, they were not prepared to endorse the ICL and give their players permission to play in it or for it to use their grounds."

The two 20-over leagues were the first sign that cricket was starting to venture into franchise territory and out of country-versus-country mode. The IPL presented the ICC with a never before experienced concern, because it was not simply a domestic competition, it would involve players from other countries and the potential existed for it to interrupt the international calendar. "There was concern at the time that there was a very real threat to international cricket and we could be seeing Kerry Packer number two," Arendse said.

The ICC's anxieties were fuelled because the idea of clubs leagues was mushrooming. "There was some talk of a franchise league being started in the USA and there was also an idea for an English Premier League. Actually, with money, they could start a league on the moon and it would work," Arendse said. That caused world's cricket's governing body to jolt into action to make sure the international game was safe.

"We had a lot of issues to discuss around it and questions for the BCCI," Arendse explained. "We had to ask the BCCI when they planned on hosting the tournament and if it would conflict with international touring commitments. For example, as CSA President, I was interested to find out if would clash with the South African summer."

With the questions arose a need for a policy to regulate the new competition. Arendse, an advocate by trade, was part of a three-man panel, which also included Giles Clarke, ECB chairman, and Modi whose function it was to draw up clauses regarding approved and unapproved cricket that would fall in line with the ICC's constitution. Arendse clarified that they were not tasked with redrafting the constitution, as Modi was quoted as saying. "The constitution was not changed at all," Arendse said. "That would have required a meeting with all the cricket playing countries who are affiliated to the ICC, not just the Full Members or Associates."

Arendse drafted the regulations, which came into effect on June 1 2009 and falls under section 32 of the ICC Operating Manual. "The ICC's rules have to be in accordance with UK law so we sought the advice of British solicitors in drawing up the regulations." Section 32.1.1 states that a match will be regarded as disapproved if "it has not been approved by the Member in whose territory it is played," and other clauses under the regulation state that that member countries may not participate in or release their players for any disapproved cricket.

The regulations take credence of the autonomy of member boards, which ultimately means that member countries have the right to make decisions regarding which tournaments they chose to sanction, independent of ICC interference. "If the BCCI has sanctioned both the ICL and the IPL, that would have been none of our business either and we would have had nothing to do with it," Arendse explained.

It also explains why the ICC will recognise the new Sri Lankan Premier League, even if it is part-privately owned. "If the SLC sanctions the tournament, the ICC will approve of it. Any non Sri Lankan players who want to play in the event have to get no objections certificates from their home board to approve their participation, but the ICC will recognise the tournament and all the other boards will too."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alex on June 23, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    BCCI may rule cricket today but it is mainly because of IPL. World cricket league (real International professional league) will kill BCCI power in future. AND IT IS COMING.

  • Swami on June 23, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    All sporting bodies all over the world are monopolies. BCCI is no different in this regard from FIFA, IOA, FA, ECB, Cricket Australia or any other association in the world. Nothing stops BSkyB from staging test matches at Lords and telecasting on their own channels .. why bother paying ECB all the television rights money. @Shred On Bass - if ICL standards were not poor I am not sure what you were watching. Sachin, Gilli and Warne must be pretty average then.

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    To everyone who says BCCI arm-twisted ICC for IPL, when Karry Packer organised his colored cricket, the Australian Board & consequently ICC disapproved it. But, the same colored cricket was later adopted for ODIs by the ICC. Does this mean that ACB arm-twisted ICC and then copied the style. It's just a case of sour grapes. People have to understand that having the approval of the national body is essential before going to the international body and they cannot just conduct it as per their own will. It's like a company directly asking UN for permission to operate without asking it's country's Ministry. The ICL was played on just any open sandfields without any grass or infrastructure. Both, the quality of the games and the telecast were worse than even the local under-arm tournaments telecasted in our local cable channels. Players were not paid for almost a year. The ICL did nothing to improve this even in the 2nd year. The BCCI made money in IPL but also invested in the infrastructure.

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Pretty pointless asking these cricket officials whether or not BCCI exerted pressure to shut ICL's shop. No person occupying an official position in a cricketing organization will, in their sane mind, ever criticize any decision made by the omnipotent BCCI. And this comes from a die hard Indian cricket fan.

    I miss the ICL to some extent. The playing conditions were not up to the IPL standards, but the cricket on display was not inferior by any means.

  • J Ranjith on June 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Jarron, it is better to learn the fact and post comments here than making mockery of ourselves.

  • Swami on June 23, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    I am amazed that people talk of ICL as if they have seen it. It was unbelievably sub standard and played on dodgy grounds with players no one ever heard of, and which no one saw or cared about. I would challenge anyone to even name a couple of teams or even recall a single game of it.

  • Rajendra on June 23, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    ICL was a purely commercial venture and the promotors were interested purely in making money. BCCI is also making money but chances of their ploughing the money back in the game are much higher than the ICL promotors. This phenomenon is experienced by all the sports bodies (Football,Tennis, Hockey, Car racing, Chess etc.) that have captured the peoples' imagination and have generated huge funds. To regulate effectively, at times, you need to be decisive or your interests are likely to be hyjacked by others. BCCI have been smart to learn this and put it in practice. Can't blame them.

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Nitesh Kamit# Like :D.................

  • Dummy4 on June 22, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    What a whole lot of crap, the statement means exactly the opposite :P!

  • Dummy4 on June 22, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    utter crap, the iCL couldn't pay their players because they had gone bankrupt from the lack of tv rights, they stopped making money because the BCCI copied the idea and made a worse version of the ICL called the IPL.

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