Johan van der Wath is in a spot over his Northamptonshire contract © Getty Images

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) is preparing for a legal battle against the English board if the ECB rejects the appeals of cricketers involved in the league to register for their respective counties.

"It is unfortunate that the ECB has chosen not to register some players who are currently playing for the ICL," Himanshu Mody, business head, ICL, told Cricinfo. "These players and their respective counties have begun the process of appeal, and are confident that the ECB will see reason."

Many ICL players, including South Africans Justin Kemp (Kent), Johan van der Wath and Andrew Hall (both Northamptonshire), New Zealander Hamish Marshall (Gloucestershire) and West Indian Wavell Hinds (Derbyshire) have expressed concerns in the wake of the regulations recently released by the ECB that prohibit county players from playing in the ICL.

Recently, Tony Greig, a member of the ICL's executive board, had cautioned that the ECB's stand would leave the players with no other alternative but to take legal action.

"If their appeals fail, the players and their counties may have no option but to adopt a legal remedy in English courts. ICL, on its part, will support the players," Mody said.

Mody added that the BCCI's threat to file a complaint against the ECB if it cleared ICL players to join counties was "just another way to create a barrier". The BCCI's move came after the PCB granted NOCs to Mushtaq Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan to play for the counties. But the BCCI has an understanding with other boards that they wouldn't allow any of their players to participate in the ICL.

Mody welcomed the PCB decision and felt the other boards will also follow suit. "The PCB's decision to give the Pakistani players the NOC is a decision of the PCB and the ICL appreciates the decision. The ICL is hopeful that justice and sense will prevail and the other boards realise the contribution of the ICL."

The Edelweiss 20s challenge, the ICL's latest tournament, has entered the final stages with the best-of-three finals being staged over the weekend. The ICL will then conduct an 'international' tri-series involving a World XI, a Pakistan XI and an India XI.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo