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Close ICL, join IPL: BCCI told Subhash Chandra - Sathish - 04-01-2009

The Indian Cricket League on Tuesday sought to quash rumours about its future, saying the Twenty20 league has not gone bankrupt and will continue as scheduled.

"There is no question of being bankrupt. We are committed to holding the ICL," ICL business head Himanshu Mody said in a statement.

Mody also revealed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India had offered the ICL a deal, asking them to close the Twenty20 league and take up a franchise in the Indian Premier League.

"The BCCI has been offering a peace deal to ICL promoter Subhash Chandra asking him to take up a franchise in return for winding up the league, but this is unacceptable to the Zee boss," Mody was quoted as saying.

Mody further added that the ICL is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council's Executive Board meeting, scheduled for April 17-18 in Dubai, where the resolution on granting official status to the Twenty20 league will be discussed.

"We are awaiting the decision on our application to the ICC on giving those playing in the league an official status. If a resolution does not come through at the next ICC Executive Board meeting, we will pursue legal options. Our stated position is that we will take ICC to court in the UK citing precedents -- Tony Grieg vs Doug Insole (England) and Kapil Dev and other players vs BCCI in Indian courts."

The ICL chief also made it clear that the ICL is releasing players temporarily so that they can play for their countries.

With news circulating that the ICL is releasing Kiwi players Shane Bond and Darryl Tuffey and Pakistani players Mohd Yousuf and Rana Naved ul Hasan, Abdur Razzak, rumour mongering over the future of the league has peaked in the last few days.

"Yes, we have told some of these players that they can play for their respective countries. We will give them temporary suspension letters for the same. You have to understand that they are far more valuable to us if they continue to represent their countries as well. In any case, one way or the other, the ICC has to take a stand on their status.

"ICL is keen that these players are allowed to do national duty and then return to play in the ICL. We have no problem with that," said Mody.

The ICL is keen on the ICC 'recognising' its players -- even if they don't register their runs, wickets and catches in the T20 tournament -- in their official records. They are clear in their stand that the 'rebel' tag should be removed from the league and the BCCI and ICC should recognise the players' official status and restore pension and other benefits.

Mody clarified that the last ICL tournament was cancelled due to the pull-out by Pakistani players, which was a fall-out of the Mumbai terror attacks last year.

"People are spreading canards about the ICL going belly up and that due to this we are releasing players. This is all nonsense. Yes, we cancelled one event due to 26/11 but that doesn't mean the ICL is defunct. We are looking at two tournaments in October-November, a league in 8-9 cities on the round-robin format followed by the World Series," he said.