New Delhi:With the tussle between the BCCI and the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) intensifying in the last few days, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday maintained that it was an "internal matter" of the Indian Board and there was no need for any interference at this stage.
The ICC also said that it was upto the respective cricket boards to take a decision on the players defecting to the multi-million dollar breakaway league.
"The ICC Executive Board has taken a policy decision that the BCCI was the only competent authority to deal with the issue. It is upto the BCCI to decide whether to recognise the ICL or not," an ICC spokesman said.
He said that the BCCI representative had taken up the ICL issue during the last Executive Board meeting at the Lord's in June.
"The Executive Board had told the BCCI that it was an internal matter and it was left to them whether to recognise the ICL or not. The ICC had told them that cricket should not suffer," he said.
"The ICC Executive Board, which has the Chairman of all Test playing nations as members, makes the policies and the respective boards have to follow that," he said.
The BCCI had sacked Kapil Dev as Chairman of the National Cricket Academy for aligning with the rebel league and had 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 crores, in stark contrast to Rs 60 lakhs being given earlier.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has also taken a similar decision of banning the four players - former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohd Yousuf, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq - from playing for the country.
"It remains the prerogative of the PCB to decide on what actions they want to take against the players. Similarly, the other boards will also have to take a stand on the ICL issue," the spokesman said.
Since the Twenty20 tournament proposed by the ICL will be for about 45 days in the inaugural year, the bans would mean that many of the cricketers may have to sit idle for most part of the year.
The proposed Stanford League in the West Indies, a brainchild of millionaire Alen Stanford, and the county cricket in England could be some of the options.
But with the BCCI and PCB banning the players, it will be interesting to see what stand the England and Wales Cricket Board, which conducts the county league, takes on these players.
"It is entirely upto the ECB to take a decision. If such a situation arises, they will come into the picture," an ICC sources said.
The ICL has so far roped in 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.
Names of a few New Zealand players like Chris Harris, Chris Cairns and Nathan Astle are doing the rounds along with those of Australian stars Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
The ICL is expected to come out with a few more names in the coming days for its cash-rich league to be held in September-October.