IPL teams will get first priority over players, says Modi

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) Warning that any team that fields ICL players in the proposed Champions League will face automatic disqualification from the international Twenty20 competition, IPL chairman Lalit Modi has said franchises of the BCCI-backed tournament would get priority over cricketers in their squad.

''It had been clearly resolved earlier that the IPL franchises would get priority over cricketers in their team,'' Modi told mediapersons here yesterday. ''But the franchises will have to pay a relieving fees to the player's state team if both have qualified for the event.'' He pointed out the case of Michael Hussey, who is caught between Western Australia and Chennai Super Kings for the Champions League.

''In the case of Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings has the option to keep him and pay a relieving fee to Western Australia.

The option is with Super Kings,'' Modi explained.

''In the case of players like David Hussey, he has to play for his home team if his IPL team has not qualified. If his home team has qualified, which it has, then he plays for them. The county option is his third fall back,'' he added.

However, Modi said the Champions League was ''still a long way away'' and what has been agreed upon by various boards so far is ''only an in-principle agreement'' to host such an event.

''The venues have not been decided, the dates are still open and we are trying to host the event this year,'' Modi said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had on Saturday issued a press release which said the ECB, Cricket Australia, the BCCI and Cricket South Africa had ''reached an agreement for the staging of the inaugural Champions League this autumn'' for a prize pool of 5 million dollars.

However, Modi said he would be able to provide a clear picture only after the BCCI's working committee discusses the issue during a meeting scheduled on June 22.

Modi also clarified that ''any ICL player playing for any team automatically disqualifies that team from participating'' in the Champions League.

''No exceptions will be made under any circumstances,'' he said.

Currently, about 24 ICL players have been signed up to play for various English counties, the top two Twenty20 teams from England will join Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from India, the Titans from Pretoria and KwaZulu Natal Dolphins representing South Africa and Western Australia and Victoria from Australia in the Champions League.

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