ICL out of bound for county cricketers

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London, Nov 5 (UNI) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are going the whole hog with the BCCI as it threatened counties with exclusion if they allow their players to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has outlawed the ICL. It will launch its own version of the competition, the Indian Premier League (IPL), in April next year.

The ECB has already warned English players that they could jeopardise their chances of playing for England if they sign up to play in the ICL. The renewed threat is being seen as full fledged support from the english cricket board to its Indian counterpart.

Now the ECB have also put pressure on the counties by warning them that their participation in the Champions League, could be threatened if they have players contracted to the ICL.

Echoing the feeling that ECB is probably going a little over board, Ian Smith, the Professional Cricketers' Association lawyer, told 'The Telegraph' ''The ECB seem to be going further in supporting the Indian Board over the ICL than any other board and it is not clear to us why. We would like some clarification as to why.'' England, along with South Africa, Australia and India, will provide two qualifiers for the Champions League from the domestic Twenty20 competition. The prize money on offer far outweighs anything available in county cricket.

So far only two English players, former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon and Warwickshire player Darren Maddy, have signed to play in the ICL. But two Ireland internationals, Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin and Niall O'Brien, of Northamptonshire, have also been recruited.

UNI

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