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Will Lara give ICL a miss?

In what can be termed as a major blow to the Indian Cricket League (ICL), speculation is rife that the former West Indian captain –Brian Lara — might join the rival league — Indian Premier League. The former West Indian captain was one of the first star to be signed on by the ICL and was recruited into the wings by ICL promoters — Zee Group — as early as in July 2007. However, since then, the ICL has been struggling to cope with growing reputation and pull of the official Indian Premier League (IPL).

TIMES NOW has learnt that the IPL is pulling all its strings to try and poach the star cricketer of ICL into their own league. When Lara signed-up with the ICL, there were talks of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and others too joining the unofficial league. However, since then, many of the stars have turned their backs on the ICL preferring to join hands with the official league — IPL — which is backed by the BCCI, other member country boards and the ICC.

It is also learnt that Lara’s legal team is currently deliberating on ways to give ICL a miss. However, when TIMES NOW approached the ICL to confirm on Lara’s status, the officials dismissed the talk as rumours insisting that Lara will be joining the Mumbai team sooner than later.

Moreover, if Lara does opts out of ICL, then he will become the second star player after Mohammad Yousuf to break deal with the ICL. Yusuf broke the deal with ICL to return to the Pakistan national fold. 

Uncertainty over Lara’s stint with the ICL has not missed the Mumbai Champs team. Times Now spoke to international players from Mumbai Champs team on the issue and this is what they had to say.

Commenting on rumours surrounding Lara, Nathan Astle said:”It will be great to have him here and we are hearing that he is going to be here.” While, Johan van der Wath said:”It will be better if we have him, however, I don’t know what the deal is with him.”

Meanwhile, ICL’s promoters — Zee Group — are fairly tightlipped about the whole issue. Lara’s exit will clearly be a huge blow for the ICL, which is trying to gain a foothold despite the growing pressures from the IPL.

When quizzed about Lara, ICL’s Gaurav Seth said:”The team camps were supposed to start around 19 to 20th. We preponed it to give players a little bit of time to get to know each other. We have always maintained that international players will join a bit later and we are expecting Brian Lara a week before the tournament starts i.e 22 nd or 23 rd November as per the schedule.”

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, TIMES NOW’s correspondent Suman Ray caught up with the ICL Chairman — Kapil Dev — to get his views on the whole Lara issue. And not surprisingly, Kapil too dismissed the talks as rumours.

On ICL’s stand on Yusuf

Only time will tell, I can’t say anything but I think when you have hundred and odd people, and one or two people go out, it’s not a big deal. These things are quiet commonplace and will continue to happen. It has not only happenned to ICL, it can happen to any sports activity in any part of the world, i.e if anyone were to change their mind. However, one should understand that a professional commitment is a commitment.

On commitment not being honoured

I think it all depends on the organisation and the people who are working for the organisation. Basically, it will be the organisation and its legal department that would decide and have a final say on the matter. It’s not for me to decide. Commitment means a lot to me and every individual is different and have a different way of thinking. Having said this, I do believe that commitment is important.

On Brian Charles not playing

I think its all rumours and lets talk about it once the tournament starts.

correspondent Suman Ray caught up with the ICL Chairman — Kapil Dev — to get his views on the whole Lara issue. And not surprisingly, Kapil too dismissed the talks as rumours.

On ICL’s stand on Yusuf

Only time will tell, I can’t say anything but I think when you have hundred and odd people, and one or two people go out, it’s not a big deal. These things are quiet commonplace and will continue to happen. It has not only happenned to ICL, it can happen to any sports activity in any part of the world, i.e if anyone were to change their mind. However, one should understand that a professional commitment is a commitment.

On commitment not being honoured

I think it all depends on the organisation and the people who are working for the organisation. Basically, it will be the organisation and its legal department that would decide and have a final say on the matter. It’s not for me  to decide. Commitment means a lot to me and every individual is different and have a different way of thinking. Having said this, I do believe that commitment is important.

On Brian Charles not playing

I think its all rumours and lets talk about it once the tournament starts.

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