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Emburey coaches new rebel ICL team

John Emburey, the former England spin bowler who left his job as Middlesex's director of cricket last month, has been appointed to coach one of the two new franchises in the unofficial Indian Cricket League.

Emburey has signed a three-year contract with the Ahmedabad Rockets, who will be captained by Damien Martyn, the former Australia batsman, and include Murray Goodwin, the Sussex and Zimbabwe batsman, Wavell Hinds, of Derbyshire and West Indies, and Jason Gillespie, the former Australia fast bowler, who is due to play for Glamorgan.

Speaking to The Times from Chandigarh yesterday, Emburey said that he was relying on his core of senior players to lift the inexperienced young Indians in his team and added that there was no reason why the league could not coexist with the official Indian Premier League (IPL), which is backed by the Indian board.

“The competition between the two will be good for the game,” Emburey said. “People have been surprised how much financial impact the ICL can have. There are lots of companies out there interested in sponsoring it.”

Edelweiss Capital Services was named yesterday as title sponsor for the month-long Twenty20 tournament, which starts on Sunday. The first IPL match is on April 18. Half of the 18 first-class counties have signed players who are in the rebel ICL, but the ECB has warned the counties that they will not be allowed to play without permission from their national boards.

Yorkshire fear that they will lose Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who has signed for the second new ICL franchise, the all-Pakistani Lahore Badshahs. There are similar doubts over Gillespie and Shane Bond, the New Zealand fast bowler who may not be allowed to play for Hampshire.

Two county captains (Dale Benkenstein, of Durham, and Nicky Boje, of Northamptonshire) are playing in the ICL, but their clubs do not expect a problem with them playing in England. Nic Pothas, the Hampshire wicketkeeper, will also not be banned for signing for the ICL, but Hampshire said that he had effectively lost the chance to captain his county in the absence of Shane Warne, who is playing in the IPL.

Stuart Law, the Lancashire captain, is listed by the ICL as the captain of the Chennai franchise, but his county insisted that he will be with them at a pre-season event in Dubai next week instead of in India.

Kent are hoping to gain clearance for Azhar Mahmood, who is now a British citizen, and Justin Kemp to play this season. Hinds has been given permission by West Indies to play in England but Derbyshire are waiting for ECB approval. Surrey, while supporting the position of the ECB, said they hoped that Saqlain Mushtaq would be free to play for them. Sussex are still waiting to hear about Goodwin and Mushtaq Ahmed.

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