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India grants amnesty to 79 ICL rebels

INDIA'S cricket board has welcomed back 79 players to the fold after they cut ties with the "rebel" Twenty20 Indian Cricket League.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said in April any players wishing to be considered for the international side had to ditch the unofficial league by May 31.

Among the players readmitted were former caps Hemang Badani, Dinesh Mongia, Deep Dasgupta and Sridharan Sriram.

However, only four Pakistan players who signed up for the ICL have taken up the amnesty offered by their board.

A senior Pakistan Cricket Board official said Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved and Imran Nazir from about 20 players had informed the board of their decision to resign from the ICL by the May 31 deadline.

"The rest of the ICL players have not contacted us so apparently they have other plans in their minds," former Pakistan test captain and director of human resources Wasim Bari said yesterday.

The PCB cleared Yousuf and Razzaq to be considered for national selection without any penalties while Bari said the cases of Naved and Nazir were still under consideration.

While the players from India will be eligible to rejoin official domestic cricket, they will need to serve a "cooling off" period of one year from their return date before they qualify for international selection again, the BCCI said.

"The BCCI, after scrutinizing their requests, has written to the concerned state associations (saying) that these players are eligible to play in domestic tournaments for this year," the BCCI said in a statement yesterday. "Guidelines with respect to participation in (the Twenty20) Indian Premier League will be intimated in due course."

The ICL, bankrolled by one of India's largest media firms, launched the league following India's triumph in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.

Apart from several fringe Indian players, it signed overseas players, particularly from Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh.


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