" Cricket Etcetera was voted as the Best Cricket Blog by Google during the World Cup 2007 "

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

All about the Indian Cricket League

The Zee sponsored Indian Cricket League has made its biggest acquisition till date - Brian Lara, and will in all likelihood be in the sporting headlines of all major dailies today. Time to take stock of BCCI's newest headache!

Key Players:
Subhash Chandra, Head of Zee

Zee Telefilms / Essel Group

IL & FS ( Infrastrure Group, which makes it all the more interesting )

Himanshu Modi - Business Head, Zee Sports

Reasons for Creation of Indian Cricket League (ICL)

- Zee Telefilms' ambition to create sports content ( Zee Sports)

* Expectation of bagging huge telecast rights from BCCI didn't materialise.

* Zee has bought 50% stake in TEN Sports.

- Cricket is huge in India. Even a 10% share of India's cricket pie runs into hundreds of crores of rupees.
- Capitalise on Indian fans' disappointment with BCCI and the current state of affairs.The early exit from the World Cup created the right platform.

- Subhash Chandra's personal ambition to glory.

- Subhash's grouse against Pawar/BCCI: Chandra backed Pawar against Dalmiya in the BCCI elections, but there was not enough quid pro quo

- Texan Billionaire Allan Stanford's Twenty20 Cup in the Caribbean, a similar venture has been a roaring success.

- Similar leagues are being formed around the world. Twenty20 Cricket has been a huge success even in places like England, where cricket as a sport has been on the slide in the past few years.

Players already roped in by the Indian Cricket League:

Kapil Dev, Brian Lara, Tony Greig, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Dean Jones, Kiran More, Sandeep Patil,

Other players rumoured/believed to have been approached:

Shane Warne, Glenn Mc Grath, Russel Arnold, Nathan Astle, Rohan Gavaskar, Hemang Badani, Anil Kumble, Shoaib Akhtar

Likely/Possible Other candidates:

Jason Gillespie, Tatenda Taibu, Heath Streak ( and a number of other Zimbabweans), VVS Laxman, Akash Chopra, Deep Das Gupta, Murali Karthik, Marvan Attapatu, Damien Martyn, Stuart Mc Gill, Inzamam-ul-haq, Ajay Jadeja, Nikhil Chopra, Saqlain Mushtaq, Chris Cairns....

Immediate Plan:

First season of ICL begins October 2007. The plan is to have an inaugural Twenty20 League tournament between 6 private teams. The prize money is reportedly US $ 1 million.

The six teams will comprise Indian, overseas and junior players. The plan is to expand this pool of 6 teams to 16 in the next three years.
At a time when the cash-rich BCCI is struggling to find a single coach for the national team, the ICL plans to have a coach, manager, mentor, psychologist and therapist for each team!


Zee, alongwith partner IL&FS to put in Rs.100 crores into ICL.

Set-up / ICL Who's Who?

Kapil Dev - Head, Executive Board, Indian Cricket League

Other ICL Board Members: Dean Jones, Kiran More, Tony Greig

Team Coaches (so far appointed):

Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

Reactions / Official Stands:

BCCI: As was to be expected, the BCCI is completely against the formation of ICL. So much so that the pensions of ex-players like Kiran More who have joined the ICL have been suspended.
PCB: The Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it cannot stop those players from participating in the ICL who have not been offered a central contract by the board.
NZPA: The New Zealand Players' Association has supported ICL, but is waiting for an official word from ICC.
Watch this space for more.

No comments: