Terming the controversial pull-out by West Indies midway to their India tour as "unacceptable", the ICC on Sunday warned players against taking contractual matters into their own hands and hinted that they could be penalised by disallowing them to play in domestic tournaments like IPL if they repeat such acts in the future.
The West Indies team left India four matches into a five-game ODI series after a pay dispute between the players and their Board, with a Twenty20 international and three Tests to play. As a result, the BCCI have demanded USD 42 million in compensation and damages. (Also read: West Indies pullout of India tour to be probed by panel)
The ICC said in a statement that the pull-out by the West Indies team damaged cricket's integrity and reputation. (Also read: BCCI demands multi-million dollar settlement from WICB)
"It was undoubtedly a sad chapter in our sport. It damaged cricket's integrity and reputation as well as affected confidence within cricket community, especially that of fans," said ICC chairman N Srinivasan after the crisis was discussed during the world body's two-day board meeting here. (Also read: WICB dismisses reports that Richie Richardson was fired)
"The ICC and all of its Member Boards noted with deep disappointment the recent decision of the West Indies players to abandon an international tour without fulfilling the contractually agreed playing obligations between the WICB and the BCCI," said the ICC which has previously stated it cannot intervene in disputes over bilateral series unless it receives a complaint.
"Putting aside the legitimacy or otherwise of any grievances of parties involved (and which are now the subject of a domestic Task Force probe), the ICC and all Member Boards noted that players abandoning tours have the potential to cause irrevocable damage to the sport."
"It can also damage in jurisdiction of relevant Member Board concerned, as well as enormous financial damage, which might adversely affect financial viability of sport itself. With that in mind, and in a show of solidarity, all Member Boards collectively expressed the view that they consider such player action to be extremely disruptive, damaging and unacceptable," the ICC said.
The ICC said that players would be penalised if there was similar action in the future.
"Players who behave in a similar manner in future will not only risk breaching the disciplinary rules of relevant Member Board and being sanctioned accordingly, but may also put in jeopardy their ability to conclude future contractual arrangements with domestic franchises or clubs in other jurisdictions."
Several West Indies players, including ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, who was at the forefront of the pay dispute, are regular participants in the IPL, although it has previously been suggested that their eligibility would not be affected by the walkout.
India, who are scheduled to tour the Caribbean in March 2016, also announced all tours to the West Indies would be suspended while the WICB sought a mutual agreement.
The ICC Board is also expected to discuss and finalise a change in its anti-corruption code on Monday, which may allow all banned players to resume domestic cricket a few months before their bans expire.