5 players whose career got severely affected by featuring in Indian Cricket League (ICL)

Back in 2007, when the ultimate Indian Premier League (IPL) was not introduced, the 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev started a league named the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The former India skipper started ICL with a motive to bring all veteran international players under one roof. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to recognize ICL as a cricket tournament and termed it as the rebel league.


The apex cricketing body saw Kapil’s association with ICL as a conflict of interest since he was also the chairman of National Cricket Academy (NCA) – the official cricket academy which comes under the patronage of BCCI- back then. Even, the International Cricket Council (ICC) stated that it would not recognize the ICL unless the BCCI chooses to acknowledge it.

Later, various cricket boards from different countries began to put bans on their players in order to stop them from participating in ICL. Joining the ICL resulted in an immediate ban on some international players. Although the bans were lifted, but it affected their careers badly and turned out to be their worst decision.


Let’s have a look at five such cricketers who tumble-down their careers by associating with the ICL:

5.) Abdul Razzaq


Former Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was one of the most breathtaking talents the country ever produced. In the 2000s, Razzaq was the key player in the Pakistan national side. Razzaq’s outstanding ability to turn the match around on his own was something most fans cherished. He was decent with the willow and brilliant with the ball.

In 2007, Razzaq injured his knee and due to which he was also dropped from the 50-over World Cup. Later he was also axed from Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad. Razzaq was angry with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Hence he announced his retirement and became a rebel cricketer as the Lahore-born joined ICL. After that, he was banned for joining the league.

Due to his involvement in ICL, Razzaq lost almost two years of his career. However, he did make a return to International cricket in 2009, when he played a crucial role in Pakistan’s 2009 T20 World Cup triumph. Razzaq then featured in 2011 World Cup too, but was unable to leave any significant impact. Last international match that Razzaq played was in November 2011 against Sri Lanka in Dubai.


4.) Mohammad Sami

Another exceptional talent from Pakistan, Mohammad Sami, came into the global limelight when in his debut Test against New Zealand, he produced a phenomenal spell taking 8 wickets for 106 achieving a world record for the most wickets by a debutant. In his third Test match, Sami produced a hat-trick in the Asian Test Championship Finals against Sri Lanka. Sami was even called the modern Malcolm Marshall by former Pakistan captain Imran Khan.


Despite having a dream start to his career, Sami was never able to perform consistently, which impacted his career a lot. Adding to troubles, he joined the ICL and faced a strict action. However, a few months later, in 2009–2010, he was recalled back to the Pakistan team.

On January 3 2010, during Pakistan’s Test match series against Australia, Sami played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) taking three wickets for 27 runs in the first innings of the second Test match. He was also picked for the 2009 T20 World Cup as a replacement of Umar Gul. Sami then played 2012 and 2016 World T20 as well.

The Karachi born last appeared for Pakistan in 2016 T20 World Cup game against Australia on March 25, at Mohali.


3.) Justin Kemp

Arguably one of the most underrated all-rounders, Justin Kemp was literally a value for money player. He made his debut for South Africa in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in 2000-01, picking 5 for 52 in the match.

He used to bat in the lower order and contribute to the team with his hard-hitting ability. In 85 ODI matches, Kemp has amassed 1512 runs at a strike rate of 83.12. He smashed ten half-centuries and one hundred.

However, many still don’t understand why in the peak of his career, Kemp decided to join the rebel Indian Cricket League as right after that just like other cricketers Kemp too was banned. In 2009, the ban on Kemp was lifted, but then the rainbow nations had options like Albie Morkel therefore, Kemp could never make a comeback in the national team.

2.) Aftab Ahmed

In the early 200s, Bangladesh Cricket produced so many young talents, however, most of them failed in the international arena. One such player was Aftab Ahmed – the all-rounder who burst onto the scenes after his dazzling 79 against South Africa in the 2002 U-19 World Cup.

Aftab was average in his international career which took a clamorous turn after he joined the rebel Indian Cricket League, after which Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) handed him a ten-year-ban. Though after withdrawing from the league after its maiden season he did make his comeback in the national team, but he was never able to cement his place in the side. Aftab last played an international game in the 2010 T20 World Cup against Australia.

1.) Shane Bond

Many international players played in ICL, but amongst them, the most high-profile name was former New Zealand speedster, Shane Bond. The incredibly talented Kiwi fast bowler, who scared the opposition batsmen with his brilliant inswinging yorkers, was undoubtedly a pleasure to watch.

Bond was also one of the players who joined the rebel league and had to deal with a ban levied by the national board. The ban was eventually lifted, but by the time Bond made his return, he wasn’t in his full flow. Due to constant injuries, Bond could never reflect the magic that he was famous for in the cricketing world.

The Christchurch-born cricketer played 18 Tests, 82 ODIs and 20 T20 internationals for the Black Caps. Bond took 87 wickets in the red-ball format while in ODI he bagged 147 scalps. In the shortest format, Bond earned 25 wickets.

CATEGORY: News, T20

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Akshat is just another cricket fan who’s grown up watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Cricket runs in his veins. Cover drive is his favorite sight, and a ball meeting the middle of the bat is his favorite sound. You can write to him at akshat.gaur@crickettimes.com or get in touch with him on linkedin.