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Ponting expresses concern over ICL

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting wants the cricket boards of various nations to take stern action against players joining the rebel leagues.

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2007 01:45 IST

EXPRESSING HIS growing concern over the rebel Indian Cricket League, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has warned cricket boards from showing leniency towards players joining the ICL or they might run the risk of losing a lot of international players to its money lure.

With rumours of some current New Zealand players also joining the breakaway League after Pakistanis Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq, Ponting said, it was turning out to be dangerous preposition for international cricket.

“I am a bit more concerned this week with the new signings. Going back, there was no-one who said they had signed. There was talk of (Glenn) McGrath and (Shane) Warne. It looks as though the Pakistanis and a few of the New Zealanders have signed as well,” Ponting said.

“The danger is that it attracts the guys who are playing international cricket at the moment. If it is only attracting guys who are retired then it won't affect us whatsoever. There has been talk of attracting younger players, but those players will only be India-based,” he was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

Ponting wondered how cricket boards could be lenient towards players joining the ICL, which has .

“The concern I have is how lenient the boards are with the players. I heard a whisper the other day that the New Zealanders might be going with the board's blessing because they have no cricket at that time of the year.”

“You will have some of these guys putting on these Twenty20 events in opposition to the World Cup -- we have seen that there is more money in these Twenty20 comps than there is in the whole World Cup,” Ponting said.

“What will the players do: play in the World Cup or in the Twenty20 tournaments? They are going to have to make a decision and pretty quickly.”

Rumours were rife that senior New Zealand players Stephen Fleming, Chris Harris, Chris Bond, Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns have been approached to join the ICL.

“The amount of money I heard being thrown around for the ICL league is big money for a month's cricket.

‘Waugh no match-winner’

Shane Warne’s list of 50 greatest cricketer continues to raise heckles with the leggie ranking Darren Lehmann higher than Steve Waugh in his third installment, which does not feature any Indian either.

Having already triggered debate with the first two installments his rankings, a nonchalant Warne on Thursday announced the list of players he rated from 21st to 30th, in which he ranked Lehmann 25th, just ahead of his former captain Waugh.

NZC joins BCCI chorus

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand Cricket on Thursday joined the BCCI chorus by refusing to allow any of its contracted players from playing in a rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

“We have considered this issue carefully and have concluded that New Zealand Cricket cannot agree to release our contracted players to participate in the ICL,” said NZC Chief Executive Justin Vaughan.

“We have entered into these contracts in good faith and stand by our players through their contract period. We expect players to treat us the same way,” he was quoted as saying by the local media.

Lawson counting on Pak pace

KARACHI: New Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson said his newly-fit fast bowlers can give his team an edge at next month’s inaugural World Twenty20 Championship.

Lawson was speaking before his squad’s departure for a four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Kenya, from where they will fly to South Africa for the championship, which starts from September 11.

“Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul are simultaneously fit and available for the first time since they came together and despite the popular perception that the format is skewed heavily in favour of batsmen, pace might make a difference,” said Lawson.