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ICL-aligned players face life ban
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August 03, 2007 17:06 IST

With the Indian Cricket League stepping up efforts to rope in star players, the Board of Control for Cricket in India made it clear that any cricketer aligning with the rebel body will be banned for life from playing for India.

The BCCI also said that players signing up for the breakaway league will also be barred from all domestic tournaments.

"Our stand is very clear. Players who take part in the ICL will never be eligible to play for the country again. It is up to the players to decide what they want to do", BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said.

Asked whether the ban would also be applicable to young players who have not played for the country yet, Shah replied, "Definitely. It is applicable for all players."

He said the Board will take a decision on Kapil Dev's [Images] fate as chairman of the National Cricket Academy at its General Body Meeting in Mumbai on August 21.

"The Board's General Body Meeting has been called where this issue will be discussed among a host of other issues," he said.

Taking a potshot at the ICL, Shah said the BCCI is not worried by the development as the league would attract veteran players only.

The ICL, a brainchild of the Subhash Chandra-owned Essel Group, has already signed up former West Indies [Images] captain Brian Lara [Images] for the series and is said to have approached many other former and current stars from different countries.

A host of former Indian players, including Kapil Dev, Kiran More, Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal and Balwinder Singh Sandhu, have joined the rebel league in various capacities.

The ICL plans to hold its inaugural Twenty20 league over a period of 45 days, starting October.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has also taken a similar stand on the ICL and has warned that any current player signing up for the tournament will face a ban.

The PCB has also decided to act tough against former players who are associated with the board and accepting the ICL offer.

The BCCI's threat to take action against players who join the ICL drew a stinging reaction from Kapil Dev, who said the board's hostility towards the series stems from its fear of being overshadowed.

"BCCI should not be threatening players because they cannot perform on the field under fear," Kapil, chairman of ICL Executive Board, said.

"The Board is scared of ICL. That is the only reason it is not willing to talk to us," Kapil added.

Kapil also reacted strongly to BCCI president Sharad Pawar's [Images] statement that the rebel series would be a flop as it would fail to find enough spectators.

"The statement that the BCCI president has made is shameful. If the Board thinks that only the national eleven can attract crowds, then it should stop conducting any domestic tournament," he told Aaj Tak.

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