Glamorgan playing it safe
Gillespie axed due to ICL connections
Last Updated: July 21, 2008 6:06pm
Gillespie: dropped due to ICL participation
Glamorgan's Jason Gillespie will be left out of the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final against Durham to ensure his county do not face potential disqualification from the lucrative Champions League.
The Welsh county travel to the Riverside on Tuesday with the winners due to meet Middlesex in the second last-four clash of finals day at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
Victory in those two games would seal qualification for the proposed Champions League tournament, which offers a £2.5million prize for the side that triumphs.
However, veteran Australian seam bowler Gillespie participated in the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League last winter and Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has already stated that no team who has played ICL players will be allowed to take part in the Champions League.
Modi is also believed to be pressing for the exclusion of any club who even has an ICL player on their staff, which would rule out Glamorgan anyway, but the leading cricket nations are thought to be working on a compromise deal.
That, though, has not deterred Glamorgan from their stance with coach Matthew Maynard explaining: "If we were to progress to the final, from the sounds of it if we played Jason we wouldn't be able to play in the Champions League.
"From our point of view it's a pretty clear cut decision and Jason will make way for someone else.
"I'm sure the counties who make the final will challenge any ruling if they do have ICL players, but why should we put ourselves in that position? We have made our decision and if we do get to the final, it won't be our problem because we will not have played an ICL player."
The issue also has implications for Durham, whose captain Dale Benkenstein played in the ICL.
Of the other three counties already qualified for Twenty20 Cup finals day, Kent are the only one to employ ICL players, namely Justin Kemp and Azhar Mahmood. Essex and Middlesex are both in the clear.
Glamorgan owe their presence in the re-arranged quarter-final to the decision of the England and Wales Cricket Board to disqualify Yorkshire from the competition for fielding Pakistan-born off-spinner Azeem Rafiq, who was regarded as ineligible.
"It's just good now to be concentrating on the game after all that's happened," added Maynard.
"We've been handed a bit of a lifeline and we want to try and exploit that as best we can.
"Durham are a very strong team and they are blessed with a lot of talented, international players and we're going to have play at our very best if we're going to beat them.
"What we mustn't do is think too far down the line. We have to concentrate on tomorrow's game and give it our best and then we can think about what comes afterwards once the game is over."
Off-spinner Robert Croft is named in Glamorgan's squad after recovering from a calf strain.
Also included is Maynard's 19-year-old son Tom, who has impressed playing for the second XI this season and averages over 100 at that level.
Durham have almost a fully-fit squad to choose from led by Benkenstein, including axed England pair Paul Collingwood and Steve Harmison and Guyanan batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
All-rounder Callum Thorp has been ruled out after picking up a niggle earlier in the week.
They will also have the services of South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock, who was expected to miss the quarter-final because he is contracted by Sky Sports to commentate on the second Test at Headingley.
"He'll be with us tomorrow," confirmed Durham coach Geoff Cook.
"Sky kindly said they were willing to release him from their contract with them and they were more than happy for him to continue playing for us."