Maher becomes fourth Australian to join rebel ICL

March 1st, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by admin  

Brisbane, March 1 (IANS) Jimmy Maher has become the fourth Australian to sign for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), attacking the rule that prohibits him from playing domestic country. Maher, who this week bid bye to Queensland Bulls, said he had agreed a three-year deal to play for Hyderabad in the ICL but could not see why the move should bar him from playing in Australia.

“It’s really disappointing we can’t do both and keep playing in Australia. People are being forced out of the Australian game prematurely. I am surprised officials want to ban ICL players,” Maher was quoted as saying by the Courier Mail.

“I just know how much I learnt from having senior players like Carl Rackemann and Allan Border in the dressing room when I started.”

Amid the hoopla and flashing dollar signs of the officially sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL), it has gone almost unnoticed that Australian cricket has lost some of its most experienced names to the renegade ICL in recent weeks.

Former Test fast bowler Dave Gilbert, now the chief executive of New South Wales cricket, is worried that domestic cricket has lost so much experience.

Gilbert has long pushed for a “veterans’ clause” in the breeding ground of state cricket, under which experienced former Australian players would be paid more to keep them in the game.

“I don’t think you want to lose as many experienced players as we’ve seen recently,” Gilbert said.

“The fact that young batsmen coming up through the ranks will no longer get to face a Michael Kasprowicz or a Jason Gillespie can’t be a good thing,” he noted.

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