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Chris Cairns and Dinesh Mongia, both of the Chandigarh Lions, have been suspended by the ICL. Andrew Hall, the South African allrounder, will replace Cairns as Chandigarh's captain.
A brief statement issued by the ICL did not specify the reason but sources have told Cricinfo that the action was taken by the ICL's executive board "on disciplinary grounds".
Cairns arrived for the current Twenty20 tournament carrying an ankle injury, and did not disclose his fitness status to the ICL, it has been learnt. "This violates the player's contract, which clearly states that he needs to be fit when appearing for the tournament, or should inform the ICL in case of an injury," the sources said. "Cairns has been sent back and will no longer take part in this particular tournament. His ICL contract remains intact, though we will take a final call after this tournament ends (on Nov 16)."
Mongia was suspended because he knew about Cairns' injury in advance but did not share the information with tournament officials. "Dinesh will also not be part of this particular tournament," the sources said, also justifying the action against both players. "We wanted to send a strong message that nobody can take the ICL for granted, whatever may be the player's record and reputation." Apparently, this was conveyed to Cairns and Mongia today by senior ICL officials who had separate meetings with both.
Cairns, 38, has flopped in the second season, scoring just 23 runs in three matches. Mongia has scored 90 runs at 30.00, with a wicket as well. Chandigarh are currently sixth in the ICL points table.