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ICL moves court over BCCI meddling
- Board ‘intimidating’ players who joined the League, says lawsuit

New Delhi, Aug. 24 (PTI): The bitter tussle between the BCCI and the Indian Cricket League took a serious turn today with the breakaway group moving Delhi High Court, seeking to restrain the board from “intimidating” its players and interfering in its affairs.

The lawsuit filed by the ICL sought a direction to the BCCI for allowing them to use stadia across the country for its tournaments and asked that the pension given by the board to players should not be stopped if they joined the ICL.

The matter is expected to come up for hearing on Monday, setting the stage for a prolonged legal battle.

The ICL also sought that the BCCI should be restrained from using the Indian flag, as the board admitted before the Supreme Court that it was a private body.

The BCCI declined to comment on the latest development.

“Since it is now a legal issue, it is not proper to make any comments at this stage,” a top BCCI official said.

Reacting cautiously to the news, the BCCI said it would react in a fitting manner as and when required.

“What you say is news to me. If they (ICL) have gone to court and if we are sent a notice, we will attend the court and say what we want to,” BCCI vice-president Shashank Manohar said.

The BCCI and the ICL, a brainchild of media baron Subhash Chandra, have been engaged in a war of words ever since the league was proposed in early April this year.

After the ICL announced its initial list of players, the BCCI retaliated by sacking Kapil Dev as chairman of the National Cricket Academy and barred all the 44 defecting players from playing for India or at the domestic level.

The decisions were taken in Mumbai at a special general body meeting which also decided to substantially hike the match fees for first class players and increase the prize money for domestic tournaments to Rs 4.2 crore, in stark contrast to the Rs 60 lakh being given earlier.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has also taken a similar decision, banning the four players — former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq — from playing for the country.

The ICL has so far engaged 51 cricketers, including big guns like West Indies batting great Brian Lara and South African players Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje in the initial list.

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