Arnold defends decision to join ICL

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Sydney, Feb 17 (UNI) Defending his decision to sign up for the Indian Cricket League (ICL), former Sri Lankan opening batsman Russel Arnold said the rebel Twenty20 league made him an offer which was too tempting to refuse.

''The ICL offered me a contract that was fantastic in all senses.

I get to play cricket and earn good money. I can play in the ICL, I can play in Sydney and enjoy that and then play also in England.

It's what I wanted and suits where I'm at,'' Arnold said.

The 34-year-old, who retired from international cricket to join the ICL for a rumoured fee of 150,000 dollars, insisted he should not be seen as a traitor, since he got the chance to play and earn money without the burden of a heavy cricket schedule.

''You need to look after yourself and if you can do that without harming anybody, then why not?'' he said.''ICL takes me away for 30 days and there is the chance for my family to be with me.'' Accusing the BCCI and the ICC for the way they treated the ICL and its players he said ''They might try (to make us look like rebels) but the IPL is the same thing. The IPL is really sanctioning the ICL. Whatever goes on at ICC level or whatever is out of my realm.'' UNI XC AB CS BST1409

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