Indian Premier Cricket League?
The race between the Indian Cricket League
(their website finally loads up
) and the BCCI's Indian Premier League
has just started getting more interesting.
The BCCI's league boasts of the "Who's who" of international cricket (primarily current players, with a couple of former stars thrown in). Zee's Indian Cricket League boasts of the "Who was who" and "Who's that" of international and Indian domestic cricket.
The ICL has no access to most of the good cricket grounds in India since the BCCI has leases on/ownership of all of them. So it has to make do with unknown grounds. Ditto with the player roster. The ICL's major problem remains that they do not have a single star Indian player
signed up. When Dinesh Mongia has the most internationals in your lineup of Indian players, you do have a serious problem!
The main problem both leagues are going to face is how to squeeze in the tournaments in between the various international commitments. I don't really know if the BCCI has some clue about how the IPL will shape up given that the star players will hardly be available
over the next 1.5 years or so. The team owners, rights owners, sponsors, spectators, audiences, etc. will undoubtedly demand that the star players turn up for the IPL when they are not playing for India. The BCCI has just confirmed a triangular one-day series in Bangladesh
next May to fill in the gaps.
Some pride will have to be swallowed, but I really don't see any scope for the two leagues co-existing and functioning according to the current hype. The ICL is meant to showcase former stars and wannabes. The IPL is meant to showcase the stars. The ICL doesn't have the sponsors, grounds and audiences, but they have the players who have the time to play. The IPL has the sponsors, grounds and audiences, but they don't have players who can spare the time.
Under these circumstances, perhaps the best option is to merge the two leagues and call it the "Indian Premier Cricket League" and have all games played at the IPCL ground
with a lot
of sponsorship by Reliance Industries Ltd. Stop press!
Reliable BCCI sources inform me that the BCCI, continuing with its theme of creating ODI series out of thin air, will be arranging for a Twenty20 international at the end of each day of the test matches against Pakistan. The BCCI's reasoning is apparently that since each Twenty20 game only takes up 3 hours and test match days end by 5 pm, there is enough time for a Twenty20 game before the cricketers eat & sleep. Rumours about the BCCI jettisoning the warm-up games in Australia
and replacing them with Twenty20 internationals are yet to be confirmed.
Labels: bcci, india, indian cricket league, indian premier league, ipl 2008, twenty20