The ICC faces a challenge with players’ unions to push through a new policy limiting the number of T20 leagues cricketers can sign up to.
The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has been in dialogue with the world governing body advising against the move which would give more powers to national boards when it comes to releasing players from their contract for T20 competitions.
The ICC’s growing concerns over the dilution of talent for international matches due to the lucrative deals on offer from T20 franchises in the IPL and Big Bash League has led to the action.
FICA have received support for their stance from the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), who want the ICC to adopt an approach encouraging player retention without resorting to restrictions.
“The ACA supports FICA’s previously expressed concerns regarding arbitrary restrictions on player movement,” the ACA’s general manager of cricket operations Brendan Drew said.
“Whilst some may see domestic T20 cricket as a threat, FICA and the ACA see it as an opportunity to grow the game.
“If ICC member Boards are concerned about player movement and retention (eg players choosing to play Domestic T20 cricket in various leagues rather than international cricket), we encourage them to use positive measures to attract and retain players; such as providing better workplaces and investment in player wellbeing.
“Restrictions on players are not the solution.
“It would also not be in the public interest to deny the fans the opportunity to see the best players playing.
“Any restrictions such as the ones recently reported would not be enforceable.
“These views have been shared with the ICC working group.”
The financial draw would remain with the Indian and Australian mega-events, meaning the T20 leagues in emerging nations would more likely be impacted.
This is in direct conflict with the ICC’s aims to grow the game globally through the T20 format, but the player exodus impacting the West Indies has led to such measures.
Additionally, the ICC has toughened its rules against ball-tampering following the sandpapergate episode which marred Australia’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.
Culprits can now be banned for six Test matches.