Monday, September 15, 2008

Exodus to ICL

Oh boy, this makes things really interesting:
Six leading Bangladesh players - Habibul Bashar, Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh and Mosharraf Hossain - have informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board they intend to retire from international and domestic cricket. The news, announced by the BCB, follows a report in the Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo which said 14 players, including the six mentioned above, were set to join the Indian Cricket League. [LINK]

I really don't blame them. They see so many players making a lot of money and enjoying themselves while playing in the IPL. So why should they be left out? Next best thing: the ICL.

Until the ICC gets its act together and recognizes the ICL as a legitimate league, there are going to be more defections. These defections will hurt the ICC a lot since they have invested so much into Bangladesh as a model developing country. As for the Bangladesh supporters, I think they may enjoy seeing a more competitive Dhaka Warriors team rather than watching their national team get consistently outclassed.

The ICC really needs to figure things out. National commitment is in danger of being completely sidelined in favor of league cricket. If that's what the market demands, then that's what's going to happen. But the ICC's stupidity is a huge contributor to the decreasing interest in national cricket as well.

I have stated before that it's a good time to set up a competing official cricket board. And I hope it happens. ICL should actually start holding ODIs and Tests as well.

Competition is good; someone should challenge the ICC's stranglehold.

Make your pitch on this post...

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18 Pitched:

  1. Leg Break said...


    I can not see the benefits of rival international cricket bodies.

    Look at boxing…

    There is something even more cynical and bullying than usual about the ICL’s targeting of the Deshi players.

  2. Q said...

    LB, as far as I remember u once described the difference between the Rugby League and the Rugby Union - if thats what we're looking at to make the ICL legit it might not be that bad an idea. Us in Pakistan have definitely had it with the ICC and suitable replacement might not be that bad an idea.

  3. Q said...

    LB u say cynical and bullying - is it the same when they targeted 20 players from Pakistan and managed to field an international level Pak team? How is it any different from the ICL targeting the Kiwis or the Safrikaans?

  4. Leg Break said...


    That is partly my issue.

    NZ 2nd tier (H Marshall), old (Cairns, Astle and Parore) and lazy (Bond, Vincent) players have been plucked off in the last year.

    NZ, like Bangles just does not have the money to complete.

    Mainly because we've spent all our money developing these players and putting fragile players like Bond on a retainer.

    I genuinely feel for the Tigers

  5. Leg Break said...

    BTW Q,

    Comments from your view our way also welcome :)

  6. SledgeHammer said...

    LB - I also don't see too much benefit in a rival cricket body. However, an ICC dictatorship is also not the answer.

    Perhaps the threat of a rival body is the best move at this point, and it could force the ICC to make some smarter decisions.

  7. Q said...

    I see your point when you say you feel for the Tigers LB but the most simple solution in a situation like this is for the ICC to officially recognise the ICL and let the players play in the league without having to choose between their country and the league...

    Lets face it - none of these players would be retiring or leaving their board commitments in favour of the ICL if the ICC was not bending over to the BCCI!

  8. Q said...

    And comments ur way will be there LB - just settling back into routine..

  9. Leg Break said...

    But other than running round poaching contracted players, what has the ICL done to indicate they are a worthy competitor to the ICC?

  10. SledgeHammer said...

    It's the fact that they are rejected by the ICC that strangely gives them more legitimacy.

    Plus, by creating a Lahore and Dhaka team, they are creating a new national interest. Lahore Badshahs were followed very closely in Pakistan. I see a Colombo team on the horizon as well. Perhaps a Karachi team as well? And it won't be long before matches will be played outside of India's borders.

    They may be a truly second or third-tier league compared to IPL/ICC, but if they have interesting players and interesting matches, people will watch. Remember that Hyderabad fans were more involved with their ICL team than their IPL team (it is also true the Deccan Chargers sucked, but even from the beginning the fans were more loyal to Hyderabad Heroes).

    ICC will lose any good players from developing countries to the ICL if it doesn't act soon. Not to mention many second-tier Test and ODI regulars.

  11. Leg Break said...


    Are these the same developing countries that survive solely due to ICC handouts, and tournaments like the various Associate Nations competitions?

    I can’t accept that the ICL is worthy simply because they are opposing the ICC. Especially when you take into account why they are opposing the ICC.

    2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  12. Q said...

    Lets get things into perspective first - It is not the ICL that is opposing the ICC... it is the other way round..

    When the ICL was formed it could have been treated like an official league - the way the IPL or the Stanform have been but we all know what happened.

    There is no reason why cricketers playing for the ICL should not be allowed to play for their countries. The ICL definitely has no objection to that. The national boards do.

    So who is hampering who?

  13. Leg Break said...

    Well except for the fact that the ICL scheduled games at the same time as tests and things...

    Look, I agree with your annoyance with the ICC, but an enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a good guy.

    Ask Stalin.

  14. Q said...

    LB, agreed the scheduling was done when other internationals were going on but every ICL player had signed a contract that allowed them to be released for national duty when required.

    On top when the IPL was going on there were international tours going on. The Pakistanis joined in late, the Aussie and the Kiwis left early. So there's no reason why the same cannot happen with the ICL.

  15. SledgeHammer said...

    @LB...I totally agree with what Q says. Also, perhaps it's not so much the ICC to blame, but the BCCI. ICC is pretty much the BCCI's bitch.

    Yes, the Associate countries get handouts from ICC. Which is why it would be disastrous for the ICC and the developing nations if their key players joined the ICL. Players are like you and I - they want to make a good living, and the ICL/IPL can do that for them.

    BTW, ICL never really opposed the ICC. It was BCCI/ICC that opposed ICL because it was taking away from their potential revenues. It was BCCI/ICC that opposed any English county team with an ICL player to join the Champions League. It was BCCI/ICC that decided to ban all ICL players from international cricket.

    ICC needs to do some serious soul-searching here. They are held hostage by the BCCI (a relationship that has a few pros and many cons). But if they think for themselves, they might come to a reasonable solution.

    At this point, Lahore Badshahs will get more cricket than the Pakistan national team. And with ICC showing it's complete lack of balls wrt to Pakistan cricket, I would not be surprised one bit if the entire Pakistan team joined the ICL (at least the non-IPLers).

    (sidenote: BTW, if you ask me, I actually preferred the ICL to the IPL. There's way too much masala/Bollywood in the IPL for my tastes. I definitely enjoyed both, but to whatever extent I was able to follow/watch both events, I enjoyed ICL more. But that's just me, and I know I'm in the extreme minority here.)

  16. Leg Break said...

    "agreed the scheduling was done when other internationals were going on but every ICL player had signed a contract that allowed them to be released for national duty when required."

    Yes I heard that too. I think it was Father Christmas who told me...

  17. Sushil Kumar said...

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  18. Q said...

    Saw this thread after a long time. LB, that is true!! :-)

    Sushil Kumar, thank you for your kind words. I will visit that link.

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