NEW DELHI The Delhi High Court has directed state-run companies to stop taking action against players joining an unapproved Twenty20 competition.
"Players should not suffer in a fight between two giants," the Delhi High Court said on Monday in an interim order on a petition by the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
"Public sector corporations governed by various ministries will not terminate services or take any punitive action by reason of its employees (registered with the Board of Control for Cricket in India) seeking to affiliate themselves to the ICL."
The court also issued notices to state cricket associations who are threatening action against their players if they join the ICL.
The ICL had petitioned the court to prevent the BCCI from interfering in its activities or acting against players signing up for it.
The next hearing is scheduled for the last week of September.
The league, promoted by the influential Essel Group which owns the nation's largest listed media firm, Zee Telefilms Ltd, has recruited retired West Indies batting stalwart Brian Lara, as well as four Pakistan players, including former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Pakistan batting mainstay Mohammad Yousuf, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and batsman Imran Farhat have also signed up along with many Indian domestic players.
The Indian board has barred players who have signed up with the league, planned to be launched in October.
The tussle between India's cash-rich board and the ICL has made media headlines daily, amid reports that more foreign players, current or retired, could also join them.