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Can a rival league damage world cricket?

May 08, 2015 08:51 IST

‘It is something which can damage cricket if it happens, so we are worried like everyone else’

Shubhash Chandra

Media tycoon Subhash Chandra attends the 39th International Emmy Awards. Photograph: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan has admitted that the International Cricket Council and its member boards are worried with reports about a rival global cricket set up being planned by a leading Indian conglomerate.

Coming up... a rival T20 cricket league

Khan said in an interview, to a local television channel, that the ICC had also written to its member boards on the issue.

According to Khan, the ICC had asked its member boards to investigate and find out if anyone in their country had been approached for such a rival global cricket set up and T20 league.

"It is something which can damage cricket if it happens, so we are worried like everyone else," Khan said.

The Indian Essel Group held the Indian Cricket League (ICL) from 2007 to 2009, and the league was outlawed by the international board and member boards, including the BCCI.

The Subhash Chandra-owned Essel group is behind the rival set up and is planning a T20 league -- on the lines of highly-popular IPL -- first up.

He also conceded that they were question marks over Pakistan's 'home' series against England later this year in the UAE because of the rival cricket set up issue.

Recent reports said that the England and Wales Cricket Board has sought clarification about the role of Ten Sports channel over the planned rival league since it was owned by the same group which was planning the rival cricket set up.

"Yes, the England series is a worry for us because Ten Sports which has recently acquired our media rights for the next five years needs to clarify its position. Pakistan is clear it will always stand by the ICC and its decisions," Khan added.

He said not only the England series, if this rival league reports came true it could also hit Pakistan's ‘home’ series against India also in the UAE planned in December 2015.

Khan said in the past attempts had been made to have rival cricket set ups and tournaments so it was not easy to disregard such reports.

"We have seen it happen before and if does happen again it will damage cricket and also the big three governance system," he stated.

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