BCCI lifts playing ban on ICL players
In an apparent sign of a thaw in BCCI’s tough stance, the BCCI has offered an olive branch to the Indian players in the league saying that they could be considered for selection, provided they sever ties with the ICL.
The BCCI Working committee made the announcement to this effect on Wednesday.
Addressing a press-conference, the Board’s president Shashank Manohar also announced that these players and support staff would have to undergo 1 year of cooling period, as a ‘punishment for joining the ICL’, before they get to represent India in international tournaments.
He also announced May 31 as the deadline for any player or staff of ICL who wishes to rejoin the BCCI.
“We have given them time till May 31 to severe all ties with ICL and comeback to the BCCI but the players and support staff would be considered for BCCI’s assignments only after a year of quitting ICL,” he said.
The Essel Group owned ICL boasts of a slew of Indian and foreign former greats like Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Sandip Patil, Inzamam-Ul Haq, Chris Crains, Chris Harries, Nathan Astle, besides many upcoming talented cricketers like Rayadu, Stuart Binny, Imran Nazir as well as many proven international performers like Jason Gillespie, Abdur Razzaq, Azhar Mehmood, Naved Ul Hasan Rana and Rohan Gavaskar to name a few.
Ever since its inception in 2007, the ICL was viewed by the board as a threat to its hegemony over cricket in India. It had imposed a blanket ban on not only the players, but also on the officials associated with the ICL, many of whom happen to be former greats.
The BCCI had also started its very own league the Indian Premier League (IPL) to counter the IPL.
The BCCI’s ban extended to the use of its stadium and other facilities as well. All association affiliated with the BCCI were barred from extending any cooperation to the ICL.
Not only in India, but the BCCI had flexed its financial muscles throughout the cricketing world and forced every cricket playing nation to impose similar bans on their players.
Two weeks back, during the ICC General Body meet in Dubai, the apex cricketing body had left it to the individual boards to tackle the cause of recognition of privately funded leagues, virtually pouring cold water on ICL’s hope for recognition.