Franchises from the Indian Premier League will get first priority over players for the proposed Champions League, and any team that fields a cricketer from the unofficial Indian Cricket League will be automatically disqualified from the international Twenty20 competition, Lalit Modi, the chairman of IPL, has said.
However, Modi told Cricinfo that the Champions League was "still a long way away" and what has been agreed upon by various boards so far is "only an in-principle agreement" to host such an event. "The venues have not been decided, the dates are still open and we are trying to host the event this year," Modi said.
The England and Wales Cricket Board had on Saturday issued a press release which said that the ECB, Cricket Australia, the BCCI and Cricket South Africa had "reached an agreement for the staging of the inaugural Champions League this autumn" for a top prize of US$ 5 million. However, Modi said he would be able to provide a clear picture only after the BCCI's working committee discusses the issue during a meeting scheduled on June 22.
Asked about the Champions League's regulations, Modi, who is also a vice-president of the BCCI, said that "it had been clearly resolved earlier" that the IPL franchises would get priority over cricketers in their team. But the franchises will have to pay a "relieving fees" to the player's state team if both have qualified for the event, he said.
Elaborating on the case of Michael Hussey, who is caught between Western Australia and Chennai Super Kings for the Champions League, Modi said, "In the case of Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings has the option to keep him and pay a relieving fees to Western Australia. The option is with Super Kings."
However, players like David Hussey, whose IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders, failed to qualify for the Champions League, will have to play for Victoria, he said. "In case of David Hussey, he has to play for his home team if his IPL team has not qualified. If his home team has qualified, which it has, then he plays for them. The county option is his third fall back," Modi said.
Modi also clarified that "any ICL player playing for any team automatically disqualifies that team from participating" in the Champions League. "No exceptions will be made under any circumstances," Modi said.
Currently, about 24 ICL players have been signed up to play for various English counties - the top two Twenty20 teams from England will join Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from India, the Titans from Pretoria and KwaZulu Natal Dolphins representing South Africa and Western Australia and Victoria from Australia in the Champions League.