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English officials act to ward off ICL threat

The England & Wales Cricket Board says players who take part in the next edition of the rebel league will be barred from playing English cricket.

cricket Updated: Mar 08, 2008 12:07 IST

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said players who take part in the next edition of a rebel Twenty20 league will not be allowed to play in English cricket.

The breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) held its inaugural tournament late last year and has said it will stage its second event from March 9 to April 7.

It is bankrolled by the controllers of India's largest listed media firm but has not been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The Indian cricket board recently introduced their own multi-million dollar Twenty20 tournament, the Indian Premier League, which has been sanctioned.

ICL organisers have focused on sub-continent and Australian players, but England players Chris Read, Vikram Solanki, Darren Maddy and Paul Nixon have signed lucrative contracts to play in the first ICL season.

Several boards have banned ICL players from representing their country and, having taken legal advice, the ECB issued a statement on Friday "to deal with the threat".

The ECB said its regulations would be amended with immediate effect so that a cricketer who plays in an unauthorised event in the 12 months leading up to April 1 would not qualify for registration.

"In addition, once registered with the ECB, a cricketer will be disqualified if he plays in an unauthorised event," the ECB said.

The ECB will take no action against cricketers who had registered with the ECB and who had already contracted with an unauthorised event, but said the amended regulations would come into effect for future contracts.