BCCI to reveal Twenty20 league plans soon - Pawar
September 2, 2007
Sharad Pawar: 'The ICL doesn't do what the BCCI does for cricket at all levels in India' Â© AFP
Indian board president Sharad Pawar has said that plans for an international Twenty20 tournament would be unveiled within the next "10 to 15 days" as the BCCI stepped up its response to the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
"We don't see any threat from the ICL," Pawar told AFP. "The BCCI has been working for the past two years [on a tournament] that will involve current players, newcomers, retired players and foreign players. We will be announcing our plans in the next 10-15 days."
It had been reported that the BCCI was on the verge of forming a two-tier cricket league - the Professional Cricket Leagues - that would involve domestic leagues in four countries and an international league. It was believed to be along the lines of professional football, with clubs being able to hire players from wherever they like to play in a Twenty20 format. Cricket Australia (CA) was believed to be involved in the process and the International Management Group (IMG), the event manager, was putting it all together.
Echoing warnings from other administrators, Pawar said Indian players who joined the ICL risked being excluded from official cricket. "The ICL is a purely commercial proposition. It doesn't do what the BCCI does for cricket at all levels in India. The players associated with the BCCI have to choose in which direction they want to go."
The ICL, bankrolled by Subhash Chandra, who owns Indian media company Zee Telefilms, planned to hold Twenty20 tournaments between six teams for the next three years. ICL officials said they had signed up several international stars and 44 Indian first-class cricketers, adding that more top players from around the world were expected to join.
Former Test captains Brian Lara and Inzamam-ul Haq lead the ICL roster that also included Pakistan players Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat, and South Africans Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje. South African allrounder Andrew Hall and former Australian batsman Damien Martyn have also been linked to the ICL. [/b]
This means anyone who joins this rebel league will be unavailable to be part of their respective countries. For instance Stephen Fleming and Shane Bond have both been roumered to be approached and if they go they cannot play first class cricket in new zealand, it will be like they would be shuned, and thats not good for the game, i think if it doesnt interfer with any commitments for their country it should be fine.
Some good signings with Martyn being the first Australian to confirm he is going, while Warne and McGrath have been roumered to be going as well, since these three players have all retired it wouldnt make any difference to the ACB. Chris Cairns and Nathan Astle are also roumoured.
Brian Lara has gone there, which is good for him, and probably good for alot of the older guys just because its only 6 weeks out of the year and they get a huge pay packet out of it. If this goes ahead i think it could ruin cricket if the ICC doesnt acknowledge it as part of cricket. I know its being goverened by some rich guy in India but it will cause a rift between top players, and we might not even see some of the top players play for their country which would be really sad to see. Maybe even seeing players leave in their prime for the big bucks.
Hopefully it works out well and it becomes an even more global game, it will be interesting to see what happens, i hope we get to see it on tv over here.