ICL for harsh commercial penalty on Yousuf

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Chandigarh, Nov 19 (UNI) Executive vice president of the Essel Group Ashish Kaul hinted at imposing "very harsh commercial penalty' on Mohammad Yousuf, who has withdrawn from the controversial Indian Cricket League (ICL) and joined the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Kaul said that the legal notice had been served on the Pakistani batsman and arbitration hearing has been fixed for November 21 in New Delhi, a day before the first India-Pakistan test match.

"We will not allow any such things to happen and send wrong signals," he said.

Asked to specify the signing amount the ICL had paid to Mohammad Yousuf for playing in the Essel Group Twenty-20 venture after he was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the first World Cup Twenty-20 Tournament in South Africa, Mr Kaul refused to disclose the figure.

According to market speculations, a minimum contractual amount is $ 190,000 and the ICL had reportedly paid 25 per cent of the amount to Yousuf.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already asked Yousuf to play his game as the PCB would take care of the matter.

Asked whether there was any possibility for a patch up between ICL and BCCI, Mr Kaul claimed "we had approached the BCCI asking it whether we can we do it together".

"We do not require any recognition, money or infrastructure from the BCCI which is a private body like the ICL. We wish more such bodies should come forward and organise league region-wise," he added.

Mr Kaul admitted that "ICL is a small setup against the BCCI. We faced a lot of hurdles in the initial stages when the idea of twenty-20 venture struck my mind in 2005. Gradually when cricket icon Kapil Dev Nikhanj joined us it gave a big boost to the ICL." Mr Kaul alleged that "threats were issued to the authorities who gave us stadia even for commercial use." For setting up infrastructure throughout the country, the ICL has tied up with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), one of India's leading infrastructure development and finance companies. The ICL will also focus on research development training.

The ICL is also programming for the 50-50 overs and later one-day and Test matches in a phased manner after some seasons.

Asked about the sale and denominations of tickets, Mr Kaul said "it will be decided within a few days. Draw will also be made public shortly." Replying to another questione he said the Haryana Government had given entertainment tax exemption on sale of tickets for the ICL which will be played at the Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium in Panchkula from November 30.

The press conference (s) was conducted in an unusual way in groups at the Hotel Mountview here today. Mr Kaul talked to the reporters in groups.

First was the turn of print media (English) in different groups.

It was followed by Hindi print media. In the end electronic media was invited. Flimsy excuses were given that the organisers could not get a proper venue for the press conference.

UNI

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