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'Anti-competitive behaviour' over ICL : Welcome to inquisition

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ICC should recognise ICL: Buchanan Former Australian coach John Buchanan has advised the International Cricket Council to stand up to the Board of Control for Cricket India and recognise its rebel venture Indian Cricket League so that the game and players in all nations benefit from the Twenty20 competitions. Buchanan, who has signed up to coach Kolkata franchise of the Indian Premier League, said it is important to retain the older as well as the young talents, many of whom are also preferring to play in the ICL, which is being opposed by the national boards. "It's unfortunate they have to choose because the rebel ICL is the so-called banned league. I don't think that is good for the game in terms of keeping players playing," Buchanan said. "I think everyone should come back to the fold and that is why the ICC [images] will play an incredibly important role," he said as Australian stalwarts Michael Kasprowicz and Jason Gillespie recently decided to join the ICL. Buchanan said it is important that game also developed along with the money power in the T20 leagues. "India is a powerhouse in terms of revenue and the new format. But if cricket is to develop, then all countries including India need to deliver in the best way. http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/feb/27icl.htm "The ICC has to make sure this happens. It has a critical, primary role going forward. The ICC needs to protect not only older players, but also careers of younger players," he was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun

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for a change I agree with an Aussie ... this banishment of ICL means we will never again see the likes of Bond et al in Intl cricket which certainly cant be a good thing

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Guest HariSampath   
Guest HariSampath

ICL will certainly be given official status and many more International cricketers and India/state players will go, and quality and standard of cricket will be hugely lifted in ICL. Moreover there is a very big bank of International cricketers and India/state cricketers who are all nearly as good as their team mates and have not got a chance in IPL's franchises, and even among those selected all may not get a game. So ICL , if official , will pave way for those talents to play top cricket that is recognised and still be eligible to play for their countries which is what everyone wants in the end. Why not have two leagues, like we do in Ranji trophy : Elite league and plate league. And various state sides play under one league, and based on performances the side can move up or be relegated. This introduces tough competition, and maybe ICL can be like plate league with 2 top ICL teams moving higher up and two bottom IPL league teams moving down. This would also mean , maybe more teams in the Indian Super league ( IPL plus ICL), and the competirions will recognize more players, more professional contracts offered. A great advantage is the players' price too wont be bloated and will be contained to reasonable/actual levels of skill and performance. If I have a ICL ( plate league player) who has done brilliantly last season, why shouldn't I get him into my senior franchise team ? If he is going to deliver for me, I would rather pay him $100,000 than another star being paid 400,000 who lacks motivation to score big in the league. Most important thing from a player's perspective is, his performances will be recognised , money coming accordingly, and also he can play for his country,whether he is in plate league or elite league. Official recognition of ICL will also in a longer tearm, help the BCCI and in fact make BCCI even bigger in terms of money.

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FICA slams 'anti-competitive behaviour' over ICL Slowly, but surely the voices are being heard. This will only get louder if some more current players join Bond, Vincent, Sami etc on the ICL bandwagon. Some pertinent points made by Tim May...and rightly so, I must say. The PCB, NZC etc are just being lame in following BCCI's line on this issue and in the process, messing up their own teams. Power to ICL! ______________________________________________________ Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, the international players' association, has expressed his concern over attempts by national boards to impose bans on players who have signed for the unauthorized Indian Cricket League. Making clear that FICA "neither supports nor rejects ICL", May said that his organisation's primary aim "is to ensure that players rights are upheld and that governing bodies do not unreasonably restrain players from plying their trade". He said that players were only under an obligation to play exclusively for a body when they enter into a contract with them to that effect. "Where a player has chosen not to enter a contract with a particular governing body or alternatively has not been offered a contract the player should be free to play wherever he likes." His comments come in the light of reported moves by the Pakistan and New Zealand boards to refuse to grant their players No Objection Certificates which are needed by them to play in English county cricket. "What we are now seeing is that governing bodies are introducing a variety of measures that will limit the ability of players who play ICL, being considered for competitions under the jurisdiction of those "A governing body can devise its own qualification rules - its whether they are unlawful or not, whether these will be acceptable to player associations. These are where the issues of unreasonable restraint of trade, discrimination and various anti competitive behaviour arise." And May made clear that "FICA and its player associations will defend the right of players to seek employment without fear of unreasonable restraint of trade, discrimination and the collusion of a number of bodies to monopolise the employment and restrict movement in the market". He went on to say that it remains unclear what the objection to the 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. In any other walk of life, its accepted that competitive markets are more desirable than monopolistic markets. "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 US$2 billion out of the games' potential revenues for the BCCI's exclusive use - which I presume was pretty much the same US$2 billion that ICL were suppose to suck out of the system. "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. "I am staggered given cricket's significantly small number of professional cricketers that the creation of a further 60 or 70 professional positions is viewed as a negative for the game." One argument put forward against the ICL is that it has no effective anti-doping policy. "Neither do half of the ten Test playing nations," May countered. "I don't hear countries saying that they wont play other countries because they don't have anti-doping policies. "For many, if not all, countries, the number of these players that will embrace IPL will only increase, as players are increasingly frustrated by low remuneration, lengthy absences from family and the direction and governance of our game. While all other sports are bending their backs to attract talent - cricket seems hell bent on ridding itself of its talent. "The big question is ... what is more of a risk to the game. The ICL, or the policies being constructed by our governors?" © Cricinfo

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Welcome to the inquisition Witch-hunts are odious things, whether in fact or fiction - in Miller's Salem, Stalin's USSR, McCarthy's USA or Bush's. Morally they are bankrupt, for only the persecutor can be right; the other is wrong and all in between can stick it. Often it is not enough to prove the other as just wrong. Often that is not even the purpose. The point is to discredit them, to demolish them altogether. . More... Welcome to the inquisition The IPL, and its creator the BCCI, is sparing no rod to make sure the ICL is ground into the dust - the rest of world cricket be damned March 1, 2008 292111.jpg How does international cricket stand to gain if the likes of Shane Bond are barred from playing it? © Getty Images Witch-hunts are odious things, whether in fact or fiction - in Miller's Salem, Stalin's USSR, McCarthy's USA or Bush's. Morally they are bankrupt, for only the persecutor can be right; the other is wrong and all in between can stick it. Often it is not enough to prove the other as just wrong. Often that is not even the purpose. The point is to discredit them, to demolish them altogether. Nothing less than what went on in those times is being carried out now in cricket, a sport where more grey exists between any two opinions than most others. Miller's witches, McCarthy's reds, Stalin's non-reds and Bush's Muslims are now joined by cricket's Indian Cricket League (ICL) signatories. World cricket's establishment doesn't want to just stop the ICL, it wants to grind it into the dust, taking along anyone associated with it. Players who signed up for it have not only been banished from international cricket, but possibly will be banished from first-class cricket, and any other means they have of making a living. Daryll Cullinan and Moin Khan have been prevented from carrying out their broadcast commitments because of their ICL involvement. Soon media outlets might be barred from covering matches because they have given coverage to the ICL. In Pakistan, where the hunt has had a particularly zealous fervour to it, organisations that employ ICL players - banks and some such - have been advised to terminate those players' contracts. If this isn't a witch-hunt, what is? And as with the ugliest of these things, fears are deliberately misplaced, or grossly exaggerated. To date, no one has expressed precisely how the ICL, or those involved with it, will harm cricket. Or at least harm it in any way different to how the sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL) also might. Unofficial leagues are vulnerable to match-fixing is one feeble whimper from some. Mostly it is heard from the same men who presided over an official circuit in which three leading captains, and numerous other players, happily fixed games for five years before being found out. The IPL, incidentally, is not yet under the purview of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit. Cricket cannot be run by outside bodies is another fear, though the ICL is trying to make some money from the game - as opposed to run it. In any case, in Pakistan and India, where the PCB and the BCCI have arguably harmed the game more than nurtured it, who or what is to say their monopoly can't at least be questioned? Does the ICL poach talent away from international cricket? If so, how that is the case we know not. The ICL's contracts state that international cricket takes priority over the league. Pakistan argues it is not fair to have players playing in the ICL over domestic cricket. That is fair enough. But rash as prophecies might be, here's a dead cert: when the IPL calendar potentially moves forward next year to avoid a clash with the English county season, possibly eating into Pakistan's domestic schedule, Pakistan will not have a problem if a player - particularly a big name - wants to skip matches for Sindh at Rs 25,000 a month, and instead go to Delhi for US$25,000 a week. And what little substance remains in the argument vanishes when you consider Nottinghamshire's plight. They have just signed on David Hussey for two years but he has also signed with Kolkata in the IPL, and what takes priority, according to the coach, Mick Newell, is uncertain. No action is proposed against Hussey, yet Shane Bond, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed, who are in similar situations, except that they have ICL contracts, are likely to be forced out of county cricket by their own boards. Cricket cannot be run by outside bodies is one fear, though the ICL is trying to make some money from the game - as opposed to run it. In any case, in Pakistan and India, where the PCB and the BCCI have arguably harmed the game more than nurtured it, who or what is to say their monopoly can't at least be questioned? All the fears, the scare-mongering, only provide a thin veil that barely cloaks the real issue. And that is of money, and specifically of the BCCI losing out on it. For the IPL, the market is free and proud - as the auction symbolises. Not so much for the ICL, at which obstacle after obstacle is thrown. The BCCI is the only board to benefit financially from the IPL and it is the only board to stand to lose if the ICL thrives. Not anyone else, just the BCCI, above the doors of which must now be placed the placard "Power without responsibility" - nothing captures this attitude more than Lalit Modi's remarks damning county cricket's future. This is the insanity of it, that a TV-rights tangle in an overcharged, loud, brash industry is threatening relations between players and boards, players' livelihoods and domestic cricket around the world. These men are not dopers, or match-fixers. They're not even rebels. These are men who have served cricket honourably. Some do not see an international, and thus lucrative, future ahead of them, so they choose to somehow secure themselves financially. Others are unhappy with the hand life, and their cricket boards, have dealt them and are expressing it. Some are just plain greedy. But what have they really done to have their careers sabotaged? Played for an Indian-based Twenty20 league, funded by private money, or just played for the one that the BCCI doesn't like? Morally this is wrong, but soon might come a time when it is legally bereft as well. One group of ICL players in Pakistan, including Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar, is planning legal action against the board, and it is believed that they will argue that any bar is not only restraint of trade, but a constitutional violation. Rana, Mushtaq and Bond, none centrally contracted, and who haven't or might not be given an No-Objection Certificate from their home boards to play county cricket, have even stronger cases. 297792.jpgAll about the money: Lalit Modi's remarks about the future viability of county cricket have been an eye-opener © AFP Nobody forgets that there is a precedent here, in the battle Robert Alexander QC fought on behalf of Kerry Packer 30 years ago. The legal minutiae may be different now - central contracts, for example, may make a difference - but the broad legal argument remains the same: what Alexander called "a naked restraint of trade." At one stage in the Packer hearings, Alexander argued that John Snow had no future in Test cricket, and neither, because of South Africa's ineligibility, had Mike Procter. Further, their absence from English county cricket would reduce its attractiveness to the public. The very same could be argued, could it not, for Rana and Mushtaq? And no man, sane or otherwise, can say that county or international cricket will be a better place without Bond in it. Legal action may be inevitable. It is sad, for these are not matters where a hammer is needed, where force is deployed. These are delicate matters, where loyalty, patriotism, big money, greed, and the value of modern-day sportsmen all collide. These are matters where, for example, if a Pakistan player needs to ask himself why he jumps ship after one axing, then the board needs to ask itself why so many of their stars are doing it, instead of just wiping them out. These are matters where debate, discussions, negotiations and compromise are needed. That, though, has never been the way of witch-hunts, whenever the time, wherever the place.

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'Australia's domestic cricket in danger Darren Lehmann warned CA that it might lose more first class players if they persisted with their policy of banning players joining the ICL. More... 'Australia's domestic cricket in danger’ Agencies Posted online: Saturday , March 01, 2008 at 1544 hrs IST Melbourne, March 1:: Former Australia batsman Darren Lehmann warned Cricket Australia that it might lose more first class players if they persisted with their policy of banning players joining the ICL. Jason Gillespie and Jimmy Maher added to the list of Australian first class cricketers, who have preffered to play in the cash-rich Indian Cricket League than in the domestic competition. They follow compatriots Michael Kasprowicz and Matthew Elliott, who retired to play in the Essel Group-backed venture. Cricket Australia, like other national boards, has taken a strong stance against the rebel ICL and threatened its contracted cricketers with bans if they chose to get involved with the unofficial league. "It (the lure of the ICL) is certainly going to impact on experience levels. I think that trend will continue among experienced state players who probably are not going to play for Australia again," Lehmann was quoted as saying in The Age.

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ICL trying to break BCCI's monopoly: Kapil Dev BCCI was trying to create a monopoly in the sports but the Indian Cricket League 'will fight them even if it means waging a long battle', Kapil Dev said. More... ICL trying to break BCCI's monopoly: Kapil Dev Agencies Posted online: Saturday , March 01, 2008 at 1714 hrs IST Chandigarh, March 1:: BCCI was trying to create a monopoly in the sports but the Indian Cricket League ‘will fight them even if it means waging a long battle’, former captain Kapil Dev said. "They (BCCI) are trying to create monopoly by trying to have everything under their control while we are trying to break their control," Kapil, ICL's Executive Board Chairman, said. He said it was beyond anybody's comprehension why BCCI was seeing ICL as a rebel venture ‘while our aim is to promote cricket at grassroot level and give chances to many of those youngsters to play side-by-side international cricketers, which otherwise they cannot dream of’. "Don't we have freedom to promote our cricketers, who are equally talented, but do not find a place in the national team. Who is going to benefit, we ask, the sportspersons or just the ICL alone. Does our Government not encourage private players in a particular field so that people get better service and the competition improves," he said. Kapil said BCCI should stop wielding its stick by trying to ‘pressurise’ others boards/bodies to debar the ICL signatories from their events. "It's unfortunate that such things are happening. But we will fight them, even if it means a longer battle than the one our country fought to win Independence," Kapil said when told that England and Wales Cricket Board had reportedly decided to bar players appearing in the ICL from taking on contracts as overseas players in county cricket.

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