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New Delhi, Sept 6 The tussle between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the newly formed Indian Cricket League (ICL) has received attention from a rather unexpected quarter. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has asked its Director-General of Investigation to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the decision of the cricket body to take action against cricketers joining the ICL.

“The Commission has taken

suo motu

cognisance of media reports relating to the decision of the cricket board and ordered the inquiry,” said a senior official of the MRTPC.

The Director-General will call for the agreement that exists between the BCCI and various players. The Commission has given 60 days for the investigation report to be filed.

BCCI’s Tough stance

Taking a tough stance, the BCCI had recently decided to deprive its cricketers from pension and also disallow the Indian Cricket League, promoted by businessman Mr Subhash Chandra from using any of the stadia in the country for hosting tournaments.

Some of the leading national and international players have joined the league with Kapil Dev as the head. Notable international players who have signed up are West Indies’s Brian Lara, South Africa’s Lance Klusener and Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul Haq, apart from 51 Indian players.

The League had dragged BCCI to court saying that the board was “intimidating” the players who had joined the league. Subsequently, the Delhi High Court restrained public sector enterprises Indian Oil Corporation and Air India from taking any action against their employee-cricketers who had parted ways with the Board.

The issue took a different dimension when the Union Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad, not only said he would let the League organise matches in the stadia owned by the Railways but also described the ICL as a “good initiative”.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 7, 2007)
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