Tuesday, April 3, 2007

An honest Start and I am not worried about results.

We all know Indian cricket is the richest in the world. Our players are highest paid and board enjoys everything from a government like stature and paid trips to the whole cricketing world. What Indian cricket lacked was, this type of concerted effort. Zee Group annouced an idea about Indian Cricket League. Subhash Chandra who heads the group talk about his brain child.

Subhash Chandra, who heads the Essel Group, owners of the Zee brand, has announced a breakaway cricket series called the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The Essel Group will invest Rs 100 crore (US$ 23 million approx) in the project, which will run parallel to the leagues and tournaments of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The ICL will have six teams with two Indian internationals, four overseas players and eight juniors in each side. At the end of the third year, there will be 16 teams in the ICL.
This is the way to go and an honest beginning at a small level was required. The main idea is to create a pool of talent and not earn money by making national side play enormous amount of cricket.
To achieve its objectives, Zee plans to set up cricket academies equipped with state-of-the-art facilities across the country. Sports medicine would be introduced to ensure players' fitness and a full-fledged record maintained of their behaviour pattern, diet-plan and game statistics. The group will also appoint talent scouts in all 35 states to hunt for young players to play in the ICL.
Professionals at all levels of the game is the only way out. Like we do a job and get paid based on our performance and experience, the same should be applied to the whole institution. I won't be surprised to see people coming in voluntarily to support the cause. I urge former cricketers like Kapil, Sunny, Ravi Shastri to come forward and contribute. It is lot easier to write columns and talk on shows than to actually do it on the field. I think they owe this much to mother India.
The finer points of ICL:
- 6 teams or clubs to play in the opening year
- Talks on with BCCI for gaining access to stadiums
- Executive Board of the league under installation
- Pool of referees and umpires to be created
- Rules committee to form regulations for ICL
- Ombudsman to look into grievances of players
- League to begin with Twenty20 format and move to ODI format
- League to be a joint venture between Essel Group and ILFS Group
- Each team to have a mentor, media manager, psychologist, physio
- Prize money for the winner- US$ 1 million
- League teams to compete with teams internationally
- Number of teams to be increased from 6 to 16 in three years

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