ICC will be in trouble if ICL sues, : Butt

Lahore, Oct 21 (UNI) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said the ICC has been warned by its own lawyers of problems ahead if it is sued by the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

''The International Cricket Council (ICC) lawyers have a feeling that if ICL sues, then we (ICC) might see ourselves in trouble,'' Butt said here yesterday.

Butt attended the ICC Board meeting in Dubai earlier this month in which the ICL's recognition issue was discussed. The ICL has approached the ICC, asking for the event to be recognised by the game's governing body, and the Indian board said it would meet ICL officials and inform the ICC of developments.

''They have been given 21 days time to report back to the ICC,'' Butt said. Last Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) discussions with the ICL broke down, thwarting the privately promoted league's hopes of securing recognition.

The meeting was the first time the non-sanctioned ICL held discussions with the BCCI, which has imposed life bans on all Indian players participating in the Twenty20 competition.

The Indian cricket board's firm opposition to the ICL had also forced several other national cricket boards to take punitive action against their players who featured in the ICL, which started last year. Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq leads a team of 'Lahore Badshahs' in the ICL that has players like Imran Farhat, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed and Hasan Raza. However, the PCB has not yet approved the ICL.

''Inzamam called me a day before the ICC board meeting as he wanted to meet with me, but I told him that since this major matter will be discussed in the ICC meeting, I cannot say much on the issue,'' Butt said.

Last month, Sri Lanka lifted the domestic ban on cricketers who have signed up with the ICL. Former national captain Marvan Atapattu, batsmen Russel Arnold and Avishka Gunawardena plus leg spin bowler Upul Chandana are the Sri Lankan players in the ICL.

However, they will not be able to play for the national team unless the ICC recognises the league. Bangladesh Cricket Board slapped a 10-year ban from all forms of cricket on 13 players including former national captain Habibul Bashar for signing with the ICL.


Story first published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 14:37 [IST]
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