Assam's ICL-retractor cricketer hints ICL is less about real game

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Guwahati, Oct 11 (UNI) Even as the Indian Cricket League (ICL) continues to court international players, Assam cricketer Arlen Konwar, who had retracted his contract with the 'rebel' league, today hinted that the Esset-backed venture is more about mullah and glamour than about real cricket.

He had been the only second player after Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf to pull out of the ICL after entering into a contract with ICL. Talking to reporters here, Konwar said, ''I had joined the ICL hoping to play alongside big players like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Their names were being splashed in the media as possible recruits at that time and I was excited about playing with them.'' The 26-year-old offspinner had signed a contract of Rs 60 lakh for three years with the ICL on September 22. He had, however, quitted the contract about a week later.

Stressing that the urge to play at a bigger level had attracted him to ICL and not just the money, he said when he realised that the ICL did not even have grounds till now, he decided to retract.

He said, ''ICL is definitely about cricket, but it has no fields till now and has only being organizing camps, with no match schedules have been announced yet.'' The cricketer also clarified that the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) had not pressurised him to return to the fold and said the ACA had assured of looking into any grievances of the players. Besides Konwar, star players of the Assam cricket team Abu Naschim Ahmed, Parvez Aziz, Sujoy Tarafdar, S V Saravannan, Syed Zakaria Zuffri and Pritam Das had joined the ICL.

The defecting players had levelled allegations against the ACA of not being sympathetic to the players, which was refuted by ACA secretary Bikash Baruah.


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