Tim May accuses BCCI of arm twisting cricket bodies to stop players from joining ICL

Sydney, Mar 1 : Taking a strong exception to different countries bowing to the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) pressure tactics in banning players from joining the rebel ICL (Indian Cricket League), Tim May, the head of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), has said that such countries were behaving "irrationally".

Particularly naming Australia for such behaviour, he said that Cricket Australia, besides other cricket governing bodies, would be inevitably weakened by the privatised Twenty20 leagues.

In an interview with The Weekend Australian, May said 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. No governing body has yet satisfactorily explained to a player associations why ICL is such a danger to cricket," he said.

He further said: "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. Incredibly the other countries just sat aside silently when the BCCI derived 2 billion dollars out of the games' potential revenues for the BCCI's exclusive use. Which I presume was pretty much the same two billion dollars that ICL was suppose to 'suck' out of the system."

May also said: "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."

According to the paper, cricketers who join the ICL are forced by international boards, under pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, to retire from cricket. The BCCI uses its financial muscle to get other nations to ban players who participate in the rebel leagues, in order to provide a monopoly for the Indian Premier League (IPL) which it owns, it added.

Story first published: Saturday, March 1, 2008, 16:00 [IST]
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