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FICA opposes ICC’s threat of banning players from T20 leagues

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Johannesburg, Nov 11 (PTI):  Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations has objected to ICC’s threat of banning players in future from Twenty20 leagues for West Indies-like pull-outs, saying that individual cricketers should not be penalised for a collective action.

FICA agreed players should be deterred from collectively deciding to abandon a tour, especially mid-series, like the West Indies cricketers did recently against India, but penalising them by denying them to play in IPL-like T20 leagues outside their countries will not solve the problem.

“Without judging the West Indies situation, we think it’s important in all circumstances that international cricket has reasonable protection against arbitrary and unexpected player action. FICA, like the ICC, believes players should be deterred from collectively deciding to abandon a tour, especially mid-series. But this looks to deal with only part of the problem,” FICA Executive Chairman Tony Irish said in a statement.

“… any action against players I’m not sure that effectively banning any individual from a T20 league is a reasonable way to punish collective action taken in another context and such ban may well constitute an unlawful restraint of that player’s employment rights. We hope that won’t happen,” he said.

“If the ICC really wants to deal with the whole problem then it should look to do more than simply taking action against players,” said the South African.

Irish rued the current non-binding nature of the FTP and said that international cricket should not be based simply on bilateral agreements.

He said the ICC should work out some FTP-style structural framework which does not allow tours being aborted by member Boards.

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