BCCI may Lure back ICL Players

New Delhi, Nov 27 (mb): The Indian cricket board could lift a ban to lure players from an unofficial Twenty20 league into their own lucrative version, officials said.

It is particularly keen to attract foreign players who have joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL), promoted by owners of the country's biggest listed media firm, Zee Telefilms Ltd, board vice-president Rajiv Shukla told reporters.

"We could allow the foreign players to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if they terminate their contracts with ICL," he said.

However, he added there was opposition within the board on revoking the bans on domestic players who quit their state teams to join the rebel ICL.

"There is a suggestion for giving a general amnesty but there has been no consensus on it," Shukla added.

Leading Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf terminated his contract with ICL to join the official league and has returned to the national side, currently touring India.

The unofficial league, boasting retired players such as Brian Lara, Inzamam-ul Haq, Chris Cairns and Marvan Atapattu, is due to begin on Friday.

Most current stalwarts have signed up for the official franchise version, backed by all major national boards, which is scheduled in April.

Senior board official Lalit Modi said more than 100 bids, including from abroad, have been received for team franchises and a base price of $59 million has been set for the first year for bidders of a five-year media rights deal.


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