'Rebel' Benkenstein uncertain for Champions League

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London, Jun 27 (UNI) While Durham remains on course for the inaugural Champions League, their captain Dale Benkenstein is still uncertain whether he will be allowed to play in the Twenty20 tournament after the BCCI warning that the rebel ICL players need to kept away from the event.

Durham's victory over Derbyshire on Wednesday has guaranteed them a place in the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

But as they look to secure the victory over Lancashire at the Riverside this evening which will give them a home tie in the quarters, Benkenstein admitted his own future is unclear because of his involvement in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The ICL has been bitterly opposed by the BCCI which has insisted that anyone who appeared in the unsanctioned league will be banned from playing in the Champions League as punishment.

''I don't know what is going to happen, but I'm trying not to think about it too much,'' said Benkenstein, who has already been banned from playing in South Africa as a result of his decision to sign up for the Delhi Giants.

''The most important thing is that Durham get to the final and qualify for the Champions League because that will be a massive boost for the club as well as the players who have got us there.

''We'll worry about whether I can play in the Champions League after that, it's case of crossing that bridge when we come to it.

''It's great that we've reached the quarter-finals for the first time, but we still have to reach the final before we worry about my availability,'' Benkenstein added.

Whether the Indian powerbrokers will be able to uphold a ban legally is open to question and Benkenstein believes a challenge in the courts is likely if they continue with their draconian stance.

''I don't regret going to play in the ICL, but the people who run the IPL are trying to ostracise us.

''I don't think the ICL will take that and I'm sure some sort of legal challenge will be made, we'll just have to wait and see,'' he explained.

Durham's performances in Twenty20 cricket have been a revelation this year and Benkenstein believes the signings of South African pair Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel have been instrumental in transforming their fortunes.


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