Feb 3/10

'BCCI a hurdle between Sachin and Middlesex'

Shaun Udal, the off-spinner who spun England to victory over India in the Mumbai Test in 2006, has accused the Indian cricket board
(BCCI) of trying to stop Sachin Tendulkar from playing for Middlesex in this summer's English T20 Cup.

Udal, who captains Middlesex, confirmed on BBC Radio that negotiations were taking place to sign up Tendulkar. He remarked: "Sachin would love to come, but the Indian board is not being as positive as he would've liked. They are trying to organise a One-day tournament which would scupper our chances."

Middlesex has already secured Australian legend Adam Gilchrist's services for the same tournament. According to a UK paper, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), owners of Lord's which is Middlesex's home ground will contribute towards Tendulkar's fees and derive revenue from attendance for matches featuring the Indian and Aussie stars. MCC believes that Tendulkar and Gilchrist opening the batting for Middlesex would mean a sellout audience.

Udal, in Cape Town to watch the ongoing England-South Africa Test, had earlier indicated that South African Ntini, now dropped from the Test side, was also on Middlesex's shopping list. Until last season, Indian left-arm spinner Murali Kartik had turned out for this county. This year, though, he's moving to Somerset, where Sunil Gavaskar spent the 1980 summer.

From the summer of 2010 onwards, the T20 Cup is aspiring to compete with the IPL. Each of the 18 first-class counties may hire up to four overseas players for it.