Melbourne, June 25 : Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President Lalit Modi has rebutted the charge that he is putting pressure on Cricket Australia honchos not to include players from the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) and the English county teams that they represent in the forthcoming Twenty20 Champions League.
Recent reports have suggested that if English counties did not stand down their ICL players, India would consider withdrawing from the Champions League, which is to be held in India in September and October, effectively ending the venture.
"There has been no suggestion of that yet. A decision was already taken last year that ICL players would not be able to participate (in the Champions League). We will talk with Cricket Australia in Dubai about these matters. There is no pressure being placed on Cricket Australia," The Age quoted Modi, as saying
Cricket Australia has been charged with drafting the rules and regulations for the five million dollar tournament, which is to be contested by domestic Twenty20 finalists from India, South Africa, Australia and England.
The Indians are adamant that players from the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League - several of whom are participating in county cricket - should be excluded, along with their teams, from the Champions League, placing Cricket Australia in a tug-of-war between its traditional ally, England, and its major business partner, the Indian board.
Modi said the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Michael Hussey and Matthew Hayden for the Champions League is yet to be resolved.
Both players have said that national commitments will take priority over T20 appearances, contradicting IPL board member Inderjit Singh Bindra view that both would represent their IPL side in the Champions League.