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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
India warns players over league
Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev's association with the ICL led to his sacking from a BCCI post
India's cricket board has threatened to ban any player who signs up for the country's breakaway Twenty20 league.

Pakistan has warned its players not to join the ICL, while former West Indies captain Brian Lara is the only man to have confirmed his participation.

"Players who join the ICL will not be considered for India. They could even face life bans from official cricket," said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah.

But ICL chairman and ex-India skipper Kapil Dev has lashed out at the board.

"Our cricket will go ahead as planned. No one can stop cricket from being played in India," the legendary former all-rounder insisted.

"It is shameful that the BCCI has adopted such an attitude. I thought they would be the first to encourage cricket. But they want to stop it.

"I think the BCCI is scared of the ICL."

Significantly, there were also reports on Sunday that former Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu had been offered more than US$500,000 (245,000) to join the ICL and had ended his contract with his national board.

Former Australia stars Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have denied reports they have already signed up, while other big names reportedly in negotiations with the ICL are veterans Inzamam-ul Haq (Pakistan), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) and Chris Cairns (New Zealand).

The BCCI is due to meet on 21 September to discuss all ICL developments, with its chief Sharad Pawar labelling the tournament a "veterans series no-one will want to watch".

But Kapil is confident he can succeed, adding: "They can call it what they like, but our aim is to help young, promising cricketers to rub shoulders with the very best in the game.

"It will be great to have Lara and others teach our players. Standards will improve. That is what we want - is there anything wrong with that?"

SEE ALSO
Pakistan ban players from league
02 Aug 07 |  Pakistan
Inzamam courted by Indian league
29 Jul 07 |  Pakistan
Legend Lara set to end retirement
23 Jul 07 |  West Indies


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