ICC should intervene and save our careers: ICL players

March 9th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by admin  

By Avishek Roy
New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The sudden influx of retired or fringe overseas players from New Zealand, Pakistan and Australia has forced the Indian Cricket League (ICL) to keep its domestic recruitment on hold as its second Twenty20 tournament kicked off Sunday. Disappointed with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), several domestic cricketers joined the ICL bandwagon, but with the BCCI cracking the whip the ICL has apparently not found domestic players this season.

Though the ICL has not yet been able to dent the Indian Premier League grievously, it has created some problems for Cricket New Zealand as they weaned away one of world’s fastest bowlers, Shane Bond.

The policeman from Auckland has had his share of injuries and has been in and out of the national side in the last couple of years. He is ICL’s biggest catch from the pool of active players, though he still wants to save his international career and also make some money to secure his future.

Bond and some of the younger Pakistani players are exploring possibilities to have the best of both worlds and they want the International Cricket Council to intervene and help them to play for their countries.

Ever since the Indian cricket League decided to lure the not-so-well-paid New Zealand cricketers, their board is facing a major crisis to save the situation.

New Zealand players are blaming ICC for bowing to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s pressure and pulling out all stops to shut the ICL doors.

“New Zealand has lost seven or eight top players. Some of them are fringe players. But more players would join ICL, if they remain underpaid or if the ICC does not open its eyes,” says Craig McMillan, who is playing for ICL.

“At the moment, the high-handed BCCI is flexing its muscle. You cannot restrain anybody from pursuing his trade. It is a breach of one’s fundamental right. I am sure somebody is going to take up this matter legally someday against ICC,” said McMillan.

McMillan feels the ICC cannot wish away the fact that ICL has come to stay and it has to address the problem.

“ICC should take the right decision so that players can carry on with their international cricket which comes first and can also play in any of the professional leagues for a month or so. And this will definitely help cricket.”

Nobody knows it better than Shane Bond, who was one of the first to sign ICL only to be told later that his central contract with Cricket New Zealand has been scrapped.

“The ICC is not running the game. They are being pushed around by the BCCI. The BCCI has the clout and they are using it,” Bond said.

“I am disappointed. All the players who are facing a ban from their domestic boards are disappointed. We love the game and we are just playing cricket. Why ban us?” Bond asked.

Andre Adams, another Kiwi player in ICL, feels that New Zealand Cricket will have to secure the future of the players first if they want to secure country’s cricket.

“Players with young family obviously would want to earn some money and secure their family’s future. NZC will have to pay their players well Otherwise more players will leave,” says the 32-year-old all-rounder who went out of the New Zealand side with a broken right hand in 2005.

“It is not only about our domestic board. ICC will have to protect the interest of every board or else top players from every country will leave for money and better future,” he said.

At the moment though, every player is soaking in the admiration of Indian fans.

“Everybody just wants to play and watch cricket in India. It is the home of cricket. Cricket is a passion here and we are looking forward to play alongside young players,” he says.

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