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FICA advises players not to participate in the new T20 league ‘Indian Champions League’

Salman-Butt-and-Kamran-Akmal
Pakistani cricketer Salman Butt(R) greets teammate Kamran Akmal. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

The cricketing world has seen a surge in the number of T20 leagues been played these days. After the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, a good number of T20 Leagues have been launched and have been running quite successfully.

The big moolah and huge fan following has been the main attraction for the investors and private entities who look ready and willing to pool their cash in such ambitious leagues.

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As of now, it seems that the fad is ever growing. The biggest hurdle any league has to overcome is to get the appropriate approvals from the concerned boards. Non-approval would mean that even if they kick start things and go ahead, the players who participate in the league will have to face hefty consequence as harsh as life bans.

Indian Champions League (ICL) is the newest league to come under such after FICA (Federation of International Cricketers’ Association). The new league, whose details are gloomy, is scheduled to be hosted in Dubai in December-January.

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“FICA has been advised that the proposed ‘Indian Champions League’ event scheduled to take place in December 2016 is not yet sanctioned. Accordingly, players are advised that playing in this event could have negative implications on their careers. The event is currently deemed to be disapproved cricket under ICC Regulations.”

Eight teams are listed as participating in this new version of the ICL, of no relation with Essel Group’s original ICL venture in 2007. These teams are Delhi Badshah, Indore Rockets, Mumbai Stars, Chennai Warriors, Hyderabad Riders, Bangalore Tigers, Lucknow Superstars and Chandigarh Heroes.

There is a list of currently playing and retired foreign cricketers on the Facebook page of the event, called ICL League (sic) – including Herschelle Gibbs, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Wayne Parnell, Jesse Ryder, Justin Kemp, Sean Williams, Daryll Tuffey, Hamilton Masakadza, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeshchate, Graham Onions, Tino Best and others.

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The facebook page of the league has also mentioned the cost at which the players have been bought. But, again, it remains uncertain whether the numbers are correct or not.

Pakistani players are also mentioned on this page as participating in this ICL – Danish Kaneria, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Maqsood, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, fresh from the ban imposed on him.

No major Indian player is mentioned as being affiliated to the league. A few U-19 names are mentioned, and a form is available for Indians willing to participate in the league.

Details surrounding the Indian Champions League are still unclear. India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe are the only countries outside of the jurisdiction of the FICA; surely, currently playing cricketers from other countries would not risk their careers to take part in this private league.

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It is known, however, that the ICL is not the only league of this sort currently being planned. There are many leagues, going under a variety of names, spurting up through various parts of India. All of them are planning to get themselves cleared by the BCCI, but seem to have reached a similar deadlock.

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