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Twenty20 Farce if rebals are banned

Cricket's Twenty20 Champions League will descend into pure farce unless demands to outlaw India Cricket League players are dropped.

People pulling the strings in the India Premier League run the risk of cutting their own throats should they carry out their threat to ban the winners and runners-up of our own Twenty20 if, like Lancashire, they've got guys from the rebel ICL in their ranks.

Imagine Manchester United being barred from the European Champions League and replaced by someone like West Brom and you've got the picture of how the global Twenty20 would lose credibility.

If English cricket buckles and does what it's told, you could have the ludicrous situation of Middlesex, for example, finishing bottom of their Twenty20 group here yet proceeding to the Champions League.

Quite honestly, I don't believe the Champions League will degenerate to this, since far too many people in the England game are directly concerned.

Fifteen of the 18 counties have ICL connections so I foresee the powerbrokers needing to retract what they're calling for.

I can understand that the IPL aren't happy with the ICL because it's a rebel competition but I can't see how they can legitimately claim to be promoting a Champions League if one country's best sides is missing.

Our Lancashire skipper Stuart Law, who led the inaugural ICL champions, was willing to stand down from the domestic competition to prevent any backlash if we make the final at Southampton on July 26.

That attitude was commendable but quite rightly the club have backed him to the hilt. He's our captain and as such an important player.

Our current overseas player Lou Vincent, too, played in the rebel league.

There has been speculation about counties facing legal action by leaving out players to safeguard global entry in the multi-million pound arena.

I'm not a legal brain, but players do have the power when it comes to restraint of trade.

At the end of the day, it is their work. Politics aren't involved it's simply cricketers providing for their families and that's how the courts would view it. Going out to play a game of cricket can't be held against a man.
Lancashire's stance is that they've set out their stall to win the competition and then see where that takes them.

With untold riches on offer, the Champions League is a massive inducement as the Twenty20 got under way this week.
However, players could ill-afford to go into games with this uppermost in their minds because it could affect their performances.

Twice we've made it to the finals day only to lose our way so let's hope we can go all the way this time. We're always pretty confident in our ability to succeed at Twenty20 but I think there will be danger from Durham in our group, Kent and Sussex.

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