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ICC give IPL stamp of approval

International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday gave a stamp of approval to the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) while refusing to recognise the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Announcing a host of decisions at the end of two-day meeting of the ICC Executive Board, President-elect David Morgan said IPL was official cricket just like the County Championship in England whereas ICL was unofficial as it was not approved by the BCCI.

"Since ICL is not approved by BCCI so it is unofficial cricket," he said.

Morgan said the Executive Board agreed that the IPL was a good concept and although the introduction of privately owned franchises introduced risks to the game, it also provided possible benefits.

The Executive Board, however, stressed that "the concept of nation-versus-nation cricket was the life blood of Members and this must always be given the highest possible priority."

The Board made it clear that bilateral commitments of Members would take precedence over IPL fixtures and BCCI, as owners of IPL, will have to agree to certain guidelines.

"In order to maintain that position (of priority), the ICC Board and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed that the BCCI, as the owner of IPL, would sign a standard-form contract with all ICC Members," Morgan said.

"Each ICC Member will have an unfettered right in its absolute discretion to lodge an objection to a player from its country playing in the IPL, and this objection can be lodged up to two years after that player's retirement.

"All such objections will be respected by the IPL and its various franchises and the player in question will not be selected to play."

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