Counties stand to lose £2.5m jackpot over 'rebel' players

English counties will this week jeopardise a potential £2.5m Champions League jackpot by selecting "rebel" players in this season's domestic Twenty20 Cup. English cricket's Twenty20 jamboree begins tomorrow evening with the finalists of this summer's tournament being invited to play in the inaugural Champions League, a competition containing the best two Twenty20 teams from Australia, England, India and South Africa, with a first prize of £2.5m.

But 10 of England's 18 counties – the other eight, for differing reasons, do not expect to field rebel players – are prepared to risk being thrown out of the tournament by ignoring a threat from Lalit Modi, the chairman of the Indian Premier League, and possibly the most powerful figure in world cricket. Modi said that any side who pick cricketers who played in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League will be disqualified from playing in the Champions League, scheduled to be take place in Dubai or India in late September or early October.

Counties are aware of Modi's stance but they claim the England and Wales Cricket Board has not yet given them clear guidance. The ECB denies this, saying that it provided the counties with advice during the winter, information that said an invitation to take part in the highly lucrative Champions League could not be guaranteed if they picked individuals who participated in this year's ICL tournament.

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, nudged the question of player availability to fine leg on Sunday, stating that it was Cricket Australia's job to devise the rules of the competition.

Cricket Australia could take one of four options. It could ban every team who pick an ICL player; ban all players who have had any link with the ICL; ban players who have agreed to continue playing in the ICL; or allow everyone to play. The rules will not be announced before tomorrow and the eventual outcome will give a good indication of the influence of Modi and Indian cricket on the world game.

"We will play our strongest side," said Paul Millman, the chief executive of Kent, the reigning champions. They have two rebel players, Justin Kemp and Azhar Mahmood, on their playing staff. "We will get on with life, try to win the tournament and worry about India's views if and when it comes along. When the regulations become clear we will have to adjust."

Several England-qualified players have played in the ICL, including Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki, Nottinghamshire's Chris Read, Leicestershire's Paul Nixon and Warwickshire's Darren Maddy, but they are in the clear because they did not play after a cut-off date in 2007.

Matters should become clearer in 2009, when the ECB amends its player registration document. From next year a player's registration, and therefore his ability to play for a county, will be refused if he has played in a tournament or event that is not authorised by the board that governs cricket in the country.

In the long run, and if it is legally enforceable, the move could help the England cricket team. There is currently great concern over the number of Kolpak players – non-England qualified cricketers who are free to work here under European Law – within the game. Their employment reduces the opportunities of young England qualified players. The new ruling could put an end to that.

The risk-takers: Counties with ICL players


Derbyshire: Wavell Hinds

Durham: Dale Benkenstein

Gloucestershire: Hamish Marshall

Hampshire: Nic Pothas (and possibly Ian Harvey)

Kent: Justin Kemp, Azhar Mahmood

Lancashire: Stuart Law, Lou Vincent

Northamptonshire: Lance Klusener, Nicky Boje, Andrew Hall, Johan van der Wath, Niall O'Brien

Nottinghamshire: Andre Adams

Surrey: Saqlain Mushtaq, Abdul Razzaq

Sussex: Mushtaq Ahmed, Murray Goodwin


Essex, Glamorgan (Herschelle Gibbs replacing ICL's Jason Gillespie, tactical decision), Leicestershire, Middlesex Somerset, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire (Rana Naved-ul-Hasan injured. Would have played if fit)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor