BCCI vis-à-vis ICL: Who will win?
KAPIL DEV, Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More — these are familiar names in the world of cricket. All these legends have contributed a lot to the game of cricket. Today, we are not going to discuss about all of them. But in some way all of them are correlated. To promote modern cricket they have constituted a body which will pose a tough challenge to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The body, called the Indian Cricket League (ICL), is not just for local players but for foreign players too.
On April 3 this year, ICL came into being. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Former Indian captain Kapil Dev is the President of the Board, while Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More are the other members on the Board of Indian Cricket League. ICL is a private cricket league which proposes to adhere to the Twenty-20 cricket format. The Indian Cricket League was to be inaugurated in October 2007 but its inauguration was later deferred to the second week of November, with six club teams participating.
India’s poor performance in recent years and the politicisation of cricket has prompted some national players to register with ICL. A former Indian player will coach each team, meanwhile, the Essel Group is planning to set up cricket academies all over the country. However, all the national and international players will be distributed over the six teams, viz., Mumbai Champs, Chennai Super Stars, Chandigarh Lions, Hyderabad Warriers, Kolkata Tigers and Delhi Jets. The winning team will receive 1,000,000 US dollars, this season. Totally 58 Indian players and 17 international players have signed up for the Indian Cricket League. Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf left ICL and joined the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was recently inaugurated by BCCI.
However, BCCI has refused to recognize ICL as an Indian cricket board. It has even criticized the officers of ICL a lot. Faced with the threat of young players joining the ICL, BCCI has jacked up prize money for the winners, runners-up and losing semi-finalists across all tournaments. BCCI is not the only obstacle to ICL. Lack of infrastructure like stadium may limit the success of Indian Cricket League in future.
In the days to come, whether the Indian Cricket League will pose a challenge to or rival BCCI in developing cricket in India is difficult to say as of now. But the corruption-free and professional complexion weighs in favour of the ICL.