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ICL set to revolutionise cricket, counting starts

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) has appointed Zee Sports for the television production of all the matches of its inaugural Twenty-20 Championship starting November 30 at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector 3, Panchkula.

Disclosing this, former India captain and chairman of the ICL Executive Board, Kapil Dev, said, “We are all set to revolutionise the game of cricket. The tournament will be covered utilising international standards of production to provide a spectacular visual extravaganza.”

The ICL teams are Delhi Jets, Kolkata Tigers, Mumbai Champs, Chandigarh Lions, Hyderabad Heroes, Channai Stars. Kapil Dev says, “The ICL 20 20 Indian Championship will be held as promised, in December at Chandigarh. We are working hard to deliver a very exciting tournament for the Indian viewers. I am confident that the public in this country will witness for the first time a fully professionally run and organised extravaganza of cricket.”

The high standard production facilities include 30 camera set up, higher technical specifications such as Hawk Eye, Zoomer, Snickometer and Speedgun that will augment the telecast quality.

Kapil further added, “In a short span of time, ICL has undertaken significant revamping of the Tau Devicricket stadium.”

ICL project head Himanshu Mody said, “It is a matter of great pleasure to see these 51 players joining the Indian Cricket League. These players will join the six teams of the inaugural Indian Cricket League. They will be provided with necessary infrastructure, guidance and training to compete at the highest level.”

With just a week left for the launch of the ICL, former international stars like Inzamam-ul Haq, Michael Bevan and Stuart Law are throwing their weight behind the success of the rebel league. Haq said it was great to be associated with the ICL. “This has given me a chance to continue playing the game that I love so much. I am sure the ICL will be a big success.”

Asked if the ICL will survive the onslaught of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is being promoted by the BCCI in a big way, Haq said: “The ICL is taking off while there is still some time for the IPL to begin. Let us see if the IPL is able to kick off.”

Former Australian One-day specialist Bevan said he was happy to be coaching the Chennai Superstars. “It is nice to be part of such a venture. Twenty20 has caught on and I am sure this format is going to stay for a long time. ICL is good for youngsters as they can learn a lot from the experience of the international stars.”

“The Twenty20 format has taken the world by storm. I am sure there is no turning back now. I have played a lot of it in England and am sure my experience will help the youngsters here,” said former Australian batsman Law, who will be leading the Chennai team.

Asked if the retired players would be able to compete in the Twenty20 format, Law said: “I am still playing active first class cricket and am very good at it. Senior cricketers have a lot of experience and I don’t think it is a bad idea for us to be playing in the new format. Our presence will be a motivation for the youngsters to improve their game. I am sure the younger generation of cricketers can learn a lot from us.”

Haq said at the end of the day it was performance that really counted. “Whether you are young or not doesn’t really matter. People will look at the performance and not age. If a player is confident of doing well and is fit I don’t think it will be a problem for him in any format,” the former Pakistan captain said.

“The fitness levels, training regimen etc have changed a lot over the years. The senior players have experience on their side. If the youngsters are able to soak up everything that they learn from the seniors then it will not only do them a world of good but also help better the game,” said Law.

Speaking on the Australian team, Law said: “There is a widening gulf between Australia and the second best team. As an Australian it is flattering but for the game it is bad. Lack of serious competition will kill interest in the game. It is time the other teams pull up their socks and give the Aussies a run for their money.”

Law was all praise for VVS Laxman. “Laxman is a class bat. He scored heavily in the county season this year for Lancashire. He is too good to bat at number six. Ideally he should be batting at number 3,” said Law.

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