Players feel pinch as ICL payments become latest victim of global cash crisis

February 20th, 2009 - 5:12 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb.20 (ANI): Several Indian Cricket League (ICL) players have reportedly lost more than 100,000 dollars each due to economic strain affecting world markets.
The ICL has postponed its next tournament and is still to pay players” wages due last December.
The news follows revelations that American entrepreneur Allen Stanford - who created the Stanford Twenty20 League and is heavily involved with the English and West Indies cricket boards - has been charged with fraud to the tune of eight billion dollars.
Players in the ICL, which includes Australians Jason Gillespie, Damien Martyn, Michael Kasprowicz, Jimmy Maher, Ian Harvey and Stuart Law, receive quarterly payments of up to 105,000 dollars for the top-paid stars. But the players are confident the rebel league will not collapse.
“We have never been paid on time, so it’’s no different except there’’s an even longer delay this time,” one international player told the Herald.
“So far, they are behind one payment. You never know. It’’s India. If it happens, it happens. Everyone has been hit by the economic crisis, even the [Indian Premier League]. They said they are just working through a few things, so we will just have to wait and see. I think [the ICL] will go on.”
Players received a letter from the owner of the ICL, Subhash Chandra, promising all wages would be paid but asking for patience.
“The tournaments have been run really well, but everyone is hurting at the moment,” said another player, who also did not believe the future of the ICL was in doubt.
“We have been given the word we will be looked after and we are confident they will honour that.”
Nor is the IPL immune from the global recession.
India Today reported that the league has finalised only three of its six associate sponsors, and two teams have lost shirt sponsors for the coming season.
Most franchises, which are leased to private entrepreneurs, have tightened budgets to cut down on peripheral expenses. The effort to save rupees reached farcical proportions when Tasmanian pacer Brett Geeves received an excess luggage bill from his former franchise, Delhi.
However, the IPL has the security of long-term media deals and the backing of the wealthy Indian board to shore up its future. The ICL, on the other hand, is listed as an unofficial tournament by the International Cricket Council and has faced fierce opposition from the persuasive Indian board.
The future of the ICL will be discussed at an ICC meeting this week and there is a strong tip it will be transformed into a veteran’’s competition, so that only international players over 35 years can be signed to compete against talented young Indians. (ANI)

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