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The BCCI has cranked up the pressure on English counties that have employed players linked with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL) by "advising" its own players to not sign up with such teams.
Niranjan Shah, BCCI secretary, told Cricinfo that its contracted players - including VVS Laxman, Piyush Chawla and Ajit Agarkar - who have signed or are in the process of signing with English counties this season are being "advised" to pull out if the county has ICL players on its rolls.
"We don't want our players in teams that have other players playing in unauthorised tournaments," Shah said.
Shah, however, clarified that "non-ICL" players from these county teams will be allowed to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) - Hampshire's Dimitri Mascarenhas had played for Rajasthan Royals in the tournament's first season. The decision does, though, put into doubt the participation of Indian players in the English Premier League, which was unveiled on Wednesday and will start in 2010.
Chawla was expected to sign up for Hampshire, Laxman was set to join Nottinghamshire in August, while Ajit Agarkar has followed the BCCI directive and called off talks with Worcestershire.
A report on cricketnirvana.com said the BCCI first granted permission to Chawla to join Hampshire and then decided against it.
The ECB has allowed around 25 cricketers associated with ICL to represent 15 of its 18 counties after it faced legal action from the unauthorized league, which was backed by the country's strong trade laws that protects the rights of individuals. Only Middlesex, Somerset and Essex have teams without any ICL players.