The Indian Cricket League (ICL) has written a letter to the ICC seeking recognition for their Twenty20 league and asking why they continue to be labelled as 'unsanctioned' or 'unofficial' by the BCCI.
While Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, confirmed that the letter had been received, Himanshu Mody, the ICL's business head, said that they have also sought a meeting on the issue. Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, however, maintained that "any tournament which is not recognised by the member body can't be recognised by the ICC."
"We want to know why they [the BCCI] keep calling us 'unofficial', we want to find the reason behind it," Mody told Cricinfo. "We have requested the ICC for a meeting on the issue. So far, we haven't got a response from the ICC. Hopefully, we will get a reply soon."
Speed told reporters in Mumbai that the ICC's lawyers were studying the ICL's application and the official stand will become clear in a week. Speed, who was in Mumbai to felicitate the captains of Australia, South Africa and India for their accomplishments in the ICC events in the last calendar year, said this was the first time the "question" was asked.
Pointing out it wasn't a simple, open-and-shut case, Speed said: "There are two parts to that. Until recently, the ICL had never sought recognition from the ICC, so it never asked the question. About 10 days ago, lawyers acting on behalf of ICL contacted ICC and sought recognition from the ICC."
Asked if the ICC was backing the BCCI on this issue, Speed said there was never a written statement from the Indian board on not granting official status to the ICL. "The BCCI has never sent anything in writing to the ICC terming the ICL as 'unsanctioned' or [that] they don't recognise it," Speed said.
"We are awaiting advice from our lawyers on that issue and I expect [that] within the next week or so, we'll respond to the ICL lawyers. The question has never been asked, whether ICC will recognise ICL one way or another. It's a fairly complicated legal issue and we are taking legal advice," Speed said.
Speed also said that it was not the ICC's concern if the any ICL player was allowed to play in his own country's domestic competition. Recently, Mervyn Dillon, the former West Indies bowler who had played in the ICL last year, returned to the Caribbean to play in the domestic competition. "That's the matter for those countries to work out - whether they want to have those players back. It might become clearer when we get final legal advice and there's dialogue with the ICL" Speed said.