The clash between the BCCI and the ICL played out its latest episode in the distant setting of Wellington. Overnight, the Indian board decided it would not allow Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik play in the masters game between the players' associations of Australia and New Zealand as Hamish Marshall, an ICL player, is also a part of the hosts’ squad.
Marshall represented the Royal Bengal Tigers in the first season of the ICL but is not currently contracted with the ICL. Heath Mills, brother of New Zealand bowler Kyle Mills and chief executive of the Players' Association, was taken aback by the Indian board's u-turn.
“Yes, we are surprised. Everyone was looking forward to see Sachin bat,” said Mills. “We are really disappointed, the fans would have liked to see Sachin and Karthik play”
Niranjan Shah, manager of the team in New Zealand, former board secretary and currently IPL vice-chairman, refused to comment on the matter, saying: “This match is not important. Why should I comment on it?”
Mills, who was informed of the Indian board’s decision early on Friday morning by Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief, couldn't understand why the BCCI acted thus. “As you would know, Marshall was an ICL player. However, his contract finished with the ICL last year, so we didn’t think there would be any problem," said Mills. “We're really disappointed with the position of the BCCI. I understand the situation with the ICL but given Hamish is no longer a player with ICL. It just seems a bit silly to me,” he said.
Mills said that a decision that benefitted the game should be taken soon. "We can't have some of the best players excluded from international cricket. I understand the BCCI's position but here we've got Shane Bond, Vincent, Adams who can't play because of their ICL allegiance. The BCCI and the ICC should come to a resolution to bring ICL to the fold. I just hope they are mindful of the impact on countries like New Zealand. I'm sure there is a solution."