India’s rebel ICL may now target Test players not getting paid well

January 1st, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Jan.1 (ANI): New Zealand and other countries with modestly paid players are in danger of being gutted by the breakaway International Cricket League, further damaging the standard of international cricket.
According to The Australian, as the well-paid Australians continue their complete domination by attempting to equal their own amazing record of 16 successive Test victories, the soft underbelly of the game is being exposed by India’s big-money brawling over Twenty20 and television rights.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has set up the rival Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition, to begin in April, and is paying big money for international stars, including Australians, to be part of it, but players overlooked by the official IPL are joining the ICL.
It is not only international cricket that is under threat, but domestic first-class cricket, with falling standards not adequately preparing players for Test cricket.
The cricketing countries at greatest risk of being damaged are those that can least afford it and New Zealand is at the top of the list. Some players can earn more in a month playing with the ICL than for a full year playing for their country.
New Zealand Cricket is under enormous pressure from the BCCI to ban the six Kiwi players who took part in the inaugural ICL championship in India last month and is in a bind about what to do with Bond, who has signed to be part of an expanded ICL competition this year.
If Bond, the best Kiwi paceman since Richard Hadlee, is banned, he can sue for restraint of trade. If he is allowed to play in the ICL, the billion-dollar wrath of the BCCI will reign down on the Kiwis, further damaging cricket in a country where it has been a marginal sport.
International players association chief executive Tim May made it clear FICA would protect the rights of players to earn a professional living, regardless of which competition they join.
May said. “It’s their job and they’re trying to do the best for their families. We want to encourage people to play cricket professionally, don’t we? It’s not necessarily a bad thing, this ICL. We will protect the players’ rights to ply their trade. (ANI)

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