FICA lashes out at boards on 'step-motherly' behaviour with ICL

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Sydney, March 1 (UNI) FICA, the international players' association, has criticised national boards for their stance of banning players who have signed for the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL).

FICA Chief Executive Tim May made it clear that the body, ''neither supports nor rejects the ICL'' and said, ''What we are now seeing is that governing bodies are introducing a variety of measures that will limit the ability of players who play in the ICL being considered for competitions under the jurisdiction of those (boards).'' May's comments came after various national boards including Pakistan and New Zealnad refused to grant No Objection Certificates to the players who have signed with the rebel ICL.

''A governing body can devise its own qualification rules - it's whether they are unlawful or not, whether these will be acceptable to player associations.

''These are where the issues of unreasonable restraint of trade, discrimination and various anti-competitive behaviour arise,'' he said.

However, May assured that FICA will continue to back players saying, ''FICA and its player associations will defend the right of players to seek employment without fear of unreasonable restraint of trade, discrimination and the collusion of a number of bodies to monopolise employment and restrict movement in the market.'' ''I am staggered given cricket's significantly small number of professional cricketers that the creation of a further 60 or 70 professional positions is viewed as a negative for the game.'' He argued that claims which said the ICL does not have an effective anti-doping policy can not be termed as the reason for keeping it unsanctioned.

''Neither do half of the ten Test playing nations,'' May said adding, ''I don't hear countries saying they won't play other countries because they don't have anti-doping policies.

''The big question is ... what is more of a risk to the game.

The ICL, or the policies being constructed by our governors,'' he questioned.

UNI XC RAR AB RN1732

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