Global cricketers’ body flays ban on ICL players

March 1st, 2008 - 11:25 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, March 1 (IANS) The global cricketers’ union has criticised the banning of players for taking part in the rebel Indian Cricket League (IPL), accusing boards of hypocrisy. Tim May, head of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), told The Weekend Australian that cricket was the only sport in the world “hell bent on ridding itself of talent”.

“It still remains unclear, as to what the real objection to ICL is, apart from it being an unwanted competitor,” he said.

“No governing body has yet satisfactorily explained to a player association why ICL is such a danger to cricket.”

ICL was floated last year by Indian business tycoon Subhash Chandra. Some well known retired and current players from India, Pakistan, the West Indies and other countries took part in the first tournament last year.

The second international ICL tournament will begin this month.

May, a former Australian Test off-spinner, said that in banning players who participate in the ICL, countries like Australia, were behaving irrationally.

“We have heard public comments that ICL has the propensity to take a significant amount of games’ revenues away from the global revenue stream and that all countries will suffer accordingly,” he said.

“Incredibly the other countries just sat aside silently when the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) derived $2 billion out of the games’ potential revenues for the BCCI’s exclusive use. Which I presume was pretty much the same $2 billion that ICL was suppose to ’suck’ out of the system.”

May also took to task the BCCI-run Indian Premier League (IPL), which is authorised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“Countries have also objected to ICL revenues being diverted to private enterprise rather than the development of the game - they have conveniently cast a blind eye to the fact that a significant proportion of the ongoing profits of the ‘official’ IPL tournament will be distributed to private enterprises, not the game,” he said, referring to the franchise system.

Eight Indian city-based teams were bought by some of best-known names in Bollywood and the business world. The 45-day IPL tournament starts April 18.

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