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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
ICC blow for new US league
Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar was one of the Indians expected to take part
Plans for a new 20-overs cricket league in the USA may have been undermined by a directive from the game's world governing body.

The International Cricket Council has told member countries that Pro Cricket is unsanctioned and contracted players should not be allowed to take part.

The new league, featuring eight teams, is due to begin on 2 July.

"We haven't received an application for approval from anybody," said ICC development manager Matthew Kennedy.

"If we did, part of that application would require the host member country to give support and approval, so that would be USACA [United States Cricket Association], and then it would go through the normal processes.

"If it was approved, all the countries would be free to release current contracted players."

With the start of the competition only two weeks away, there is no way such a process could be completed in time.

The organisers are well aware of our policy
The ICC's Matthew Kennedy

And the Board of Control for Cricket in India has already issued a directive to its players, telling them to steer clear of the competition.

Pro Cricket teams can field overseas players and around 20 Indians were planning to travel to the USA, including well-known names such as Vinod Kambli, Sanjay Bangar, Ajay Jadeja, Deep Dasgupta and Tinu Yohannan.

Their participation may now be in doubt although the majority do not have contractual ties to the BCCI.

"We've advised all Indian players that they should avoid playing in the tournament that hasn't been sanctioned by the US cricket authorities," BCCI secretary SK Nair told the BBC.

"The question of contracted and non-contracted players doesn't come into this advice. We're passing on the suggestion we've got from the ICC."

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