Breaking News: Breaking BCCI

There are reports that Zee TV is to launch a parallel cricket league. Is this part of Pawar's blue dreams?

CricInfo reports:

Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee's Essel Group, has announced a break-away cricket series called Indian Cricket League (ICL). Zee's Essel Group will invest Rs 100 crore (US$ 23 million approx) into the project, and this will run parallel to Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The ICL will have six teams with four international players in each side. At the end of the third year, there will be 16 teams in ICL. Chandra said this initiative was not in conflict with BCCI but would be complementary to them.

Chandra had a run-in with BCCI since he could not win the broadcast bids last year. Chandra has partnered with IL&FS in the venture.

In February 2006, Nimbus agreed to pay a $612 million (roughly Rs 2,750 crore) for global media rights for all international and domestic matches, owned or controlled by BCCI, to be played in India.

So far, Nimbus is believed to have paid Rs 570 crore to BCCI towards the total deal as part of an arrangement of staggered payments, but the bank guarantee is for the period starting October 2006.

Compare $612m to $23m.

Soon after the Cronjegate in 2000, there were rumours that a few TV channels were trying to break up ICC's control over the game. Apparently (rumour) Tendulkar pulled out of the deal and nothing came out of it. No one made any enquiry about the alleged presence of leading bookies at Tendulkar's wedding. Strange world of Indian cricket - rumours and corruption.

The ICL will have six teams with four international players in each side, says the report. Thats 24 international players! How many of the India WC squad have signed up for it? Did they know about this before they left for the World Cup?

Chandra has partnered with IF&LS...

With the likes of State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation involved in IFLS, there is no way Pawar didn't know about this. More than being the BCCI president, Pawar is a cabinet minister in the central government!

Pawar's blue dreams are for real.

Pic courtesy The Hindu
[July 2006]
Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture, flanked by Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra Chief Minister (right) and Mr Ravi Parthasarathi (left), Chairman, IL&FS.

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