Mumbai: In a surprise decision, the Indian Cricket Board on Wednesday agreed to lift ban on players associated with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) if they severed their links with the Subhash Chandra-owned league.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar said the decision was taken after some ICL players and their support staff met the Board members and admitted committing mistake by joining the rebel league.
Manohar made it clear he players would not be given any international assignments for a year after they quit the ICL but can immediately start playing in the domestic competition. The amnesty period is till 31 May, he said.
“We have decided to grant amnesty to the ICL players and welcome them to return to the BCCI fold... The players will not be given any international assignment for one year after they quit the ICL as a punishment. But they can play in the domestic competitions. They have been given the amnesty time till May 31,” Manohar told reporters after BCCI’s Working Committee meeting .
The ICL, which boasts of names Brian Lara, Inzamam-ul Haq and Shane Bond in its ranks, was launched by Zee Group owner Subhash Chandra after India’s debacle in the ODI World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.
But the BCCI, which shortly after came up with the Indian Premier League, refused to recognise the ICL and announced a ban on players associated with the rebel League.
The BCCI also advised the other national boards to have a similar approach to the ICL, which had become a home for many disgruntled players from across the world.
The ICL, which had India’s only World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev as the chairman of its executive body, made repeated attempts to be authorized by the BCCI and the International Cricket Council only to be turned down on every occasion.
The ICC had also refused to entertain ICL application earlier this month.
The ICL decided not to stage its 2009 edition after Mumbai terror attacks, citing security reasons.