Indian Cricket League

Indian Cricket League

Infobox sports league
title = Indian Crcket League
current_season = 2008 Indian Cricket League 20-20 Indian Championship

pixels = 110 px
sport = Cricket
founded = 2007
ceo = Kiran More
fame =
motto =
teams = 9 domestic teams, 3 "world" teams
country = flagicon|INDIndia
champion = Hyderabad Heroes (domestic)
India (international)
most_champs = Chennai Superstars (2 titles)
most_super_bowl_champs =
website =
TV = Zee Sports, Ten Sports

The Indian Cricket League (ICL), is a private cricket league that runs parallel to the Indian Premier League (IPL) managed by BCCI. The biggest tournaments with international players follow the Twenty20 format, while there is a domestic tournament following the 50-over method. Matches were initially held at Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad, and at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. However, since 2008 games are played across more venues within India.

The first edition had 6 teams, which expanded to 8 in early 2008 and added one more in the second half of the same year. Players participating in this league have been banned by several cricket boards of their respective countries as this is am unsanctioned private league. [ [ Indian Board Threatens To Ban Players Who Play In ICL] , Cricket World, retrieved August 3, 2008] [ [ South African players warned over rebel league] , Reuters, retrieved August 3, 2008]


Zee Telefilms (part of the Essel group, which is promoted by Subhash Chandra) bid for the telecast rights to the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Although the highest bid, it was unsuccessful. In 2004, Subhash Chandra again bid for telecast rights and ended up in an inconclusive court battle. He made another bid for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy rights and once again lost. He responded by creating the ICL. “They denied us the cricket content,” says Himanshu Mody, business head of ICL and Zee’s sports, “so, we had to create our own content” [cite news |author = Ekbaat staff|url =|title = Why and how was ICL created|publisher = Ekbaat|date = September 15, 2007|accessdate = 2007-09-15|] . Zee Telefilms announced that it would partner infrastructure major IL&FS to create a new, ambitious cricket organisation, the Indian Cricket League (ICL) [cite news |author = Cricinfo staff|url =|title = Business mogul announces new cricket league|publisher = Cricinfo|date = 3 April 2007|accessdate = 2007-06-13|] with prize money of one million US dollars in the initial edition for the winning team.The ICL was set up with a billion dollar Indian Rupee corpus, and was to initially comprise six teams playing Twenty20 cricket, with plans to expand to sixteen teams within three years and to eventually move to 50-over matches. These plans, if realised, will make ICL the richest professional league in India. On 24 July 2007, some famous international names were announced to have signed to play in the ICL, including Brian Lara [cite news |author = Cricinfo staff|url =|title = Warne and McGrath set to join ICL: Kapil|publisher = Cricinfo|date = July 26, 2007|accessdate = 2007-07-26| ] . Due to the unofficial nature of the league, most of the national cricket boards warned their players against joining it and as a result most of the international players who signed for the first edition were retired internationals, such as Brian Lara, Chris Cairns and Craig McMillan, or former players with little hope of breaking back into their national team, such as Chris Read and Daryl Tuffey. A notable exception was Imran Farhat, who chose to opt out of his Pakistan Central contract to sign with the League [cite news |author = Cricinfo staff|url =|title = Farhat released from central contract|publisher = Cricinfo|date = August 16, 2007|accessdate = 2007-08-16|] . Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said he was not able to understand why the PCB would not allow its players to participate in the league and why it was threatening players with a lifetime ban Fact|date=March 2008. The PCB subsequently banned players involved in the ICL from playing domestic cricket, a move that prompted some players, notably Farhat and Taufeeq Umar, to threaten court action [cite news |author = CricketWorld|url =|title = Pakistan Bans ICL Players From Domestic Cricket|publisher = CricketWorld|date = December 24, 2007|accessdate = 2007-12-26| ] . The opposition to the league from most national cricket boards has continued into the league's second edition, with several players who were signed to play domestic cricket for teams in the English County Championship, including Shane Bond, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mushtaq Ahmed and Jason Gillespie being unable to fulfill their County Championship contracts because of their home counties cricket boards refusals to grant them the necessary paperwork to play in England [cite news |author =Andrew McGlashan|url =|title = ICL-county situation as clear as mud|publisher = Cricinfo|date = 13 March 2008|accessdate = 2008-03-24 ] .

The first edition of the league commenced on 30 November 2007. The league consisted of six teams with the matches played at Panchkula, near Chandigarh. It concluded on 16 December 2007 with the Chennai Superstars winning the first title. The second edition was a 50 over tournament played from 7 January 2008 to 28 January 2008 at Mayajaal Cricket Ground, near Chennai, with Chennai Superstars winning again. A third edition which commenced on 9 March 2008 saw the league expanded to eight teams and matches being played at two further venues, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. Hyderabad Heroes won the 3rd edition.

League structure

Each team will be coached by a former international cricketer and will comprise four international, two Indian and eight budding domestic players. Essel Group is also planning to set up cricket academies all over the country. BCCI has been assured that it is free to draw from ICL's talent pool. The league became active in November 2007 with matches in the Twenty20 format.

Only professional, paid and accountable people have been hired to run the ICL Fact|date=March 2008. There will be no "honorary-positions" such as unpaid selectors Fact|date=March 2008. Former international cricketers including Kapil Dev, Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More have been hired as board members of the Indian Cricket League [cite news |author = Cricinfo staff|url =|title = Zee Sports denies signing of stars|publisher = Cricinfo|date = 14 May 2007|accessdate = 2007-06-13] . The board positions will be paid positions [cite news |first = Roma|last = Khanna|url =|title = BCCI's own now have a new job|publisher = CricketNext|date = 14 May 2007|accessdate = 2007-06-13] .

* Nine teams of private clubs :
**Mumbai Champs
**Chennai Superstars
**Chandigarh Lions
**Hyderabad Heroes
**Kolkata Tigers
**Delhi Giants
**Ahmedabad Rockets
**Lahore Badshahs
**Dhaka Warriors

  • Each team has a paid mentor, media manager, psychologist and physiotherapist
  • There is a US$ 1 million prize for the winning club team
  • An Ombudsman is available to look into grievances of players

    ICL World Teams

    The World

    *John Emburey - Coach,

    *Chris Cairns - Captain
    *Andrew Hall,
    *Chris Harris,
    *Damien Martyn,
    *Daryl Tuffey,
    *Ian Harvey,
    *Jimmy Maher,
    *Johan van der Wath,
    *Lou Vincent (Wicketkeeper),
    *Marvan Atapattu,
    *Matthew Elliot,
    *Michael Kasprowicz,
    *Russel Arnold


    *Steve Rixon - Coach

    *Rajagopal Satish - Captain
    *Abbas Ali,
    *Abhishek Jhunjhunwala,
    *Abu Nacheem,
    *Ali Murtaza,
    *Ambati Rayudu,
    *Ganapathi Vignesh,
    *Ibrahim Khaleel (Wicketkeeper),
    *Love Ablish,
    *Ravi Raj Patil,
    *Rohan Gavaskar,
    *Stuart Binny,
    *Syed Mohammed,
    *Thiru Kumaran,
    *TP Sudhindra,
    *TP. Singh,
    *V. Sarvanan


    *Moin Khan - Coach

    *Inzamam-ul-Haq - Captain
    *Azhar Mahmood
    *Taufeeq Umar
    *Imran Farhat
    *Rana Naved-ul-Hasan
    *Abdul Razzaq
    *Naved Latif
    *Humayun Farhat
    *Arshad Khan
    *Shahid Nazir
    *Hasan Raza
    *Mohammad Sami
    *Imran Nazir
    *Riaz Afridi
    *Shabbir Ahmed


    *Balwinder Sandhu - Coach

    * Habibul Bashar - Captain
    * Aftab Ahmed
    * Alok Kapali
    * Dhiman Ghosh
    * Farhad Reza
    * Manjural Islam
    * Golam Mabud
    * Mahbubul Karim
    * Mohammad Rafique
    * Mohammad Sharif
    * Mosharraf Hossain
    * Shahriar Nafees
    * Tapash Baisya

    ICL Domestic Teams

    Fixtures & Results

    Main article: 2007 Indian Cricket League 20-20 Indian Championship
    Main article: 2008 Indian Cricket League 50s
    Main article: 2008 Indian Cricket League Edelweiss 20s Challenge
    Main article: 2008 Indian Cricket League 20s World Series
    Main article: 2008 Indian Cricket League 20-20 Domestic Tournament
    Main article: 2008 Indian Cricket League 20-20 Indian Championship, 2008/09

    Reasons for creation

    Several factors have played a role in formulation of a cricket league which may run in parallel to the current official Indian cricket control body, BCCI.

    The "Inverted Pyramid" cricket structure

    There is wide disparity between the facilities enjoyed by the national team and the regional ones. This makes the regional players far from finished products when they are called to represent their country, preventing a huge country like India from having adequate bench strength when key players are injured or retire. Also, the regional cricket boards depend on the BCCI for hand-outs of funds for infrastructure and grassroots development. The players who are entrenched at the top have strong backing from sports management firms and also can afford the best in personal trainers, physiotherapists and technical consultants, hardly the preserve of the average-Joe Ranji player.

    India's poor performance in recent years

    Essel group has sought to capitalise on the disappointment of Indian cricket fans with the poor performance of their cricket team in the World Cup and the South African tour prior to that. Indian team's failure in the World Cup has led to lower earnings to cricket broadcasters, advertisers, cricket sponsors and travel & tour operators. These defeats also caused massive disappointment to India's millions of fanatical cricket fansFact|date=August 2008.

    The question of 'why can't a nation of one billion with millions of cricket players produce even a reasonably competent national XI' has been hotly debated across newspapers and news channels. One of the answers which has gained wide acceptance is that the BCCI, the cricket control body of India, has failed miserably in its job and needs a major overhaul in its working and organisation. Millions of Indian fans who hero-worshipped their cricket team are finding BCCI, with its image already mired with scandals, favouritism and political influence an easy target to blame for this debacle. The idea that this hero-worship itself may be interefering with players' mental focus escapes most pundits. Fact|date=August 2008.

    Zee Telefilms desire to create sports content

    The Essel group has expressed a keen desire to help India develop cricketing talent, as well as provide lucrative sports programming for Zee Telefilms, which lost out on the rights to broadcast all BCCI-sanctioned cricket matches in India until 2011.

    Essel Group had originally launched Zee Sports earlier with the anticipation of bagging at least some of the BCCI telecast rights in 2006. This was followed by Zee acquiring 50 percent in TEN Sports in November 2006 for Rs. 257 crore (Rs. 2.57 billion). This gave the company a few international cricket rights — West Indies, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

    Cricket played in India generates Rs. 1,000 crore (Rs. 10 billion) in advertising and subscription revenue and Subhash Chandra has been acutely aware of his company missing out on this lucrative cricket pie.

    During his battle with BCCI and ESPN Star Sports for the five-year telecast rights in August-September 2004 in the Bombay High Court, Chandra was present every day for the hearings. Despite Zee bidding the highest at $307 million, BCCI and its then president Jagmohan Dalmiya denied him the rights.

    The pain of denial has been with Chandra since 2000 when the ICC World Cup rights were sold to NewsCorp’s Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) for $550 million despite Zee bidding the highest at $650 million citing Zee's insufficient sports marketing experience.

    In August 2005, Zee again emerged as a forerunner with a pitch of over $340 million while ESPN Star Sports, the other principal contender, is believed to have offered around $325 million. BCCI took the stance that Zee was not qualified as a specialist broadcaster and refused to consider Zee’s proposal. The matter expectedly went to court and Doordarshan emerged the beneficiary.

    Chandra then tried the political route too and supported Sharad Pawar’s candidature as BCCI president against Dalmiya. Pawar emerged victorious but not Chandra. In the last round of bidding in February, last year, it was Nimbus who bagged BCCI’s telecast rights till 2011 for $613 million with Zee trailing at $513 million.

    Since there was a Zee-Nimbus alliance before the bidding, media pundits thought Nimbus’ bid was a Zee front. But Nimbus chose to go its own way and launched its own sports network – NEO Sports.

    upport for the league

    ICL has received support from unexpected quarters. There was a fear that lack of access to infrastructure, like the premier cricket stadiums, would limit the success of the operation of the league. But support from various government bodies has boosted the league. Camps will be held at Mayajaal in Chennai, which is a private resort with good cricket facilities [cite news |first = Anand|last = Vasu|url =|title = ICL to hold camp at Mayajaal in Chennai|publisher =|date = 22 August 2007|accessdate = 2007-08-23] . Indian Railways chief Lalu Prasad has shown his backing by opening all the cricket stadiums controlled by the Indian Railways to the league. Terming ICL as a “good initiative”, Prasad has issued a statement saying that the BCCI and ICL should each come up with a cricket team and play against each other to show who's the best. [] The state government of West Bengal has also agreed to rent its cricket grounds, notably Eden Gardens, to the league and anybody else. [cite news |author = Press Trust of India |url =|title = State minister allows ICL use of Eden Gardens|publisher =|date = 23 August 2007|accessdate = 2007-08-23] be it ICL, the BCCI created IPL or both.


    BCCI's Response

    The BCCI refused to recognise ICL as a cricket league, and criticised Kiran More and Kapil Dev for joining ICL. [cite news |author = Press Trust of India |url =|title = BCCI shoots down ICL| publisher =|date = 13 June 2007|accessdate = 2007-06-13] Kapil Dev's association with ICL was seen as conflict of interest as he was the chairman of National Cricket Academy, a BCCI owned cricket facility. [cite news |first=Sudhakar|last=Shanbhag|url =|title = BCCI Not To Recognise Zee-Promoted Indian Cricket League| publisher =|date = 13 June 2007|accessdate = 2007-06-13] . As of August 21, 2007 Kapil Dev has been sacked from his NCA post. [cite news |author = Press Trust of India |url =|title = Kapil sacked as NCA Chairman| publisher =|date = 21 August 2007|accessdate = 2007-08-21] Subhash Chandra had earlier stated that the ICL will go ahead regardless of the BCCI stance. The International Cricket Council gave a statement through its chief executive, Malcolm Speed, that ICC won't recognize ICL unless BCCI recognizes it. ICC looks at ICL as an issue to be sorted out by BCCI.

    Faced with the threat of young players joining the ICL, the BCCI jacked up prize money for winners, runner-up and losing semi-finalists across all tournaments. An average domestic cricketer can hope to make around Rs 35,000 per match day from the season of 2007-08: more than double the Rs 16,000 they got in 2005-06. The BCCI has also planned to do away with honorary selectors, who will be paid from September 2008 onwards. [cite news |author = Press Trust of India |url =|title = BCCI hikes domestic match fees| publisher =|date = 21 June 2007|accessdate = 2007-08-22] The BCCI started its own international Twenty20 league, with the help of Australian, English and South African boards. The league, which launched in April 2008, is called the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket. The league model is said to be a revolutionary one, on the model of the NFL and Major League Baseball in the USA [cite news |author = Jamie Alter |url =|title = International Twenty20 league launched| publisher =|date = 13 September 2007|accessdate = 2007-09-13] .

    ICL takes BCCI to court

    In August 2007, ICL filed a petition against BCCI in the Delhi High Court accusing that BCCI is threatening and intimidating them as well as other state organsiations not affiliated to it and asked the court to stop BCCI from interfering with its attempts to sign up players for its tournaments. It also petitions that the BCCI stop trying to "out-hire" many cricket stadiums in India that are owned by the state governments, in anti-competitive, anti-market behaviour to stop the ICL from using them to play matches.

    On August 27, 2007, the Delhi High Court ruled in favor of ICL. In its ruling, the Delhi High Court has said that players should not suffer in the battle between corporate giants. The court has issued notice to all corporate sponsors, the state cricket associations & the BCCI against terminating contracts of players joining the league [cite news
    url =
    title = Delhi HC orders companies to let players join ICL
    ] .

    The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) of India has asked its Director-General of Investigation to do an initial investigation into BCCI's action against players who have joined ICL. The investigation was based on media reports of BCCI giving an open statement that it will ban players who will join ICL. It was also reported in the media that all state associations, under BCCI, have removed cricket players from contracts. [cite news
    url =
    title = Cricket row under MRTPC scanner

    icl matches are telecasted live on zee sports and hosted by mayanti langer.mayanti langer is the elegant and simple host of football matches on zee sports.she is beautiful as well as have very good grip over the game of cricket and bowls over the audience with her knowledge and her talking style.she is not like other women hostess who just sit like glamourous dolls.mayanti langer is master when it comes to hosting a live show.] .

    Later additions

    In considering rejoining the ICL former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon was said to have put his career in jeopardy because any player that signs up with the ICL, which does not have official status from the International Cricket Council, risks losing their registration .]

    The addition of a new team from Dhaka, consisting largely of former Bangladesh players, caused more controversy as the cricket board of that country said it would ban the players for 10 years for joining the 'rebel' ICL.] Meanwhile, it also realised trouble could be on the horizon with the departure of so many players. Consequently, the board appealed to other players to stay on.]

    Future of ICL

    It is said that the ICL is a challenge and/or a rival to the BCCI. [] . In a poll conducted by a leading online cricket website 68.9% of those voted said ICL will do better than BCCI in the coming years, 14.9% said they will work together with ICL having a supportive role, while 16.2% said that ICL will be a failure. []

    Shortly before the conclusion of the inaugural tournament, the ICL announced its plans for expansion, which include a fifty over tournament in February 2008, and the expansion of the ICL Indian Championship to eight teams for the second tournament, due to be held in September and October 2008. [ [ Indian Cricket League Announce Plans For 2008] ]

    A similar initiative has been launched in United States by the PayAutoMata group but details have yet to emerge. [cite news |first = |last = |url =|title = Indian Cricket League invades the Americas|publisher =|date = 4 December 2007|accessdate = 2007-12-04]

    In October 2008, the promoters of the ICL, Zee and it's parent company Essel Sports Pvt. Ltd, had applied for trademark registration of T20 under Class 28 of the Trade Mark Rules, 2002. [] []

    Transparency Issues

    Independent analysts have difficulty gauging the financial viability of the ICL due to the lack of transparency of the league’s operations. Terms of contracts are rarely known and advertising revenue from match telecasts — considered to be the driver of all revenue — have never been disclosed. Because they are unsanctioned by the ICC, they do not have access to the best facilities across the whole country or access to the best players which limits their ability to capture high gate revenues. This lack of transparency leads to questions regarding the overall viability of the ICL’s business model.Fact|date=March 2008

    Next Tournaments

    The 9 teams in ICL will play their next edition of Indian Championship in India from October 10th 2008, which will be followed by the second World Series, with four teams. [ [ ICL Launches Third T20 Season And Ninth Team] , Cricket World, 16th September 2008]

    Broadcasting of ICL

    Since the whole ICL is conducted by Zee Telefilms, The ICL is broadcast worldwide on Zee Sports. In 2008, Ten Sports also carried the ICL games.

    Bartercard Power Rankings

    Previously, the Lahore Badshahs had taken the [ Bartercard Power Rankings] by storm, the Indian Cricket League side have swept all before them in their maiden ICL season winning 7 out of 7 games to claim third place in the international rankings.The Badshahs, lead by ex Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq ended the groups stages of the 2008 ICL Grand Championship with a maximum 14 points, the Badshahs victories included crushing defeats over the Hyderabad Heroes (9 wickets), Mumbai Champs (50 runs) and Delhi Giants (8 wickets).

    However, after the IPL debuted the ranking changed and Chennai are ranked at number 6 (ironically just below the IPL Chennai team), with Lahore at number 9.

    Other private cricket leagues

    Most professional cricket around the world is run by the national cricket boards of the full members of the ICC, but there have been several previous attempts to create professional leagues outside the established system. Like the ICL, each of them came into conflict with the establishment:
    *World Series Cricket was formed by Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer in the late 1970s, and played a major role in the commercialisation of cricket.
    *Pro Cricket League in USA formed by Kalpesh Patel. It started with eight teams on 2 July 2004 and expired the same year. [cite news |first = Nisha|last = Giri|url =|title = The ICC Is Not Against Procricket|publisher = Little India|date = 5 August 2005|accessdate = 2007-06-13]
    *Indian Cricket League (USA) formed in 2005 by PayAutoMata Group in the U.S. state of Florida.
    *Stanford 20/20 formed in 2006 by billionaire Sir Allen Stanford in the West Indies. It has since reconciled with the cricket establishment, gaining recognition by the West Indies Cricket Board.

    ee also

    * Indian Premier League
    * Pakistan Super League
    * English Premier League
    * KFC Twenty20 Big Bash
    * Twenty20 Cup
    * Standard Bank Pro 20 Series
    * Twenty20 Champions League


    External links

    * [ The Official Site of the Indian Cricket League -]
    * [ Diktat ideas for BCCI to crush ICL]

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