ICL a factor as Lancashire release Law

Stuart Law, who captained Lancashire in 2008, has been released, with his ICL links being one factor in the decision.
There had been speculation over the future of Law, who turns 40 next week, during the latter part of the summer, and that culminated in the announcement that he had not been offered a new contract. Glen Chapple will lead Lancashire in 2009.

"Stuart has been a top-class player and has served us superbly in the time he has been here, but the club is committed to giving younger members of the squad the opportunity to grow and the cricket committee felt the time was right for other players to take on added responsibilities," explained Jim Cumbes, the county's chief executive.

And in what could be a sign of things to come with a number of counties, Cumbes made clear that Law's continuing association with the ICL was taken into account. "Although not a determining factor, any player's allegiance to the ICL does make it difficult, simply because the ECB are tightening regulations on unauthorised competitions, as are the ICC."

"Stuart was one of my very first signings when I took over as cricket manager, and has always given tremendous service to the club," Mike Watkinson, the Lancashire coach, said. "He is a quality player who takes great pride in passing on his knowledge to anyone who needs a helping hand. He is highly-respected in the dressing room and popular with both Members and Supporters. We wish him and his family all the best for the future."

Law joined Lancashire from Essex in 2002 as the club's overseas player, although he subsequently gained British citizenship. In 2003, he was named Lancashire Player of the Year, and in 2008 took over the captaincy after Mark Chilton stood down to focus on his own game. During his time with Lancashire, Law scored almost 12,000 runs in all competitions.

Chapple, meanwhile, was delighted at being handed the captaincy. "It's a privilege to play for such a big county, and an even bigger honour to be captaining the club I've been involved with for the past 18 years. I'm a product of the Lancashire system, and I look forward to leading a very talented squad of players to future success."