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ECB threatens future ICL recruits

The England and Wales Cricket Board has warned players tempted to join the rebel Indian Cricket League that they face missing a whole county season.

The ECB has issued what it calls a "robust" response to the threats posed by the ICL, which is not endorsed by the International Cricket Council.

Chris Read, Vikram Solanki, Darren Maddy and Paul Nixon accepted lucrative deals to play in the first ICL season.

But if any play again, they will be denied county registration for a year.

Friday's news release from the ECB does not specifically mention the ICL, but the implication is clear when it mentions "events which are not authorised by the ICC and its members".

The ICL, in which eight teams play each other in a Twenty20 format, has been rivalled by an officially backed version called the Indian Premier League.

The IPL begins its first season in April and will reap its participants even more money.

Between them, the two combinations threaten the established order of world cricket.

And they offer more options to England's top professionals who currently have to choose between the exhasuting treadmill of county cricket or the equally taxing Test and one-day schedule.

The ECB's Cchief executive David Collier said: "Counties and the Professional Cricketers' Association have sought clarity concerning this complex situation.

"The [legal] advice received has informed the steps that the board has taken and the board stands ready to discuss the detail and impact of these steps with counties and individual players potentially affected."

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