Welcome to Indian Premier League

BCCI's answer to ICL is here, it is called IPL (Indian Premier League).

CricInfo reports:

The league is scheduled to start in April 2008 and will last for 44 days, involving 59 matches. The prize money for the league will be around Rs 13 crore (US $3million).

None of that is really new; what's new is the franchise concept, under which teams would be owned not by the board but by separate corporate entities on the lines of the major sports leagues the world over.

Look at this:

Deputy chief executive Hugh Morris represented the ECB at the launch in Delhi, which was also attended by ICC president Ray Mali, Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola and Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland as well as representatives from the BCCI.

BCCI, ECB, Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa and ICC- were represented at the launch of the new league.

What is more interesting is this bit:

"I'm seeing the fruition of something very close to my heart," International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ray Mali said at the launch, adding the governing body supported the idea.

Why didn't Mali or the ICC take the initiative - why did they keep it close to their heart?

For now, everyone is talking about these leagues being restricted to Twenty20 games... what happens when ICL starts playing 50-over games and Test matches?

Former Indian skippers Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri are part of a seven-member governing body for the Indian Premier League. Rohan Gavaskar, Sunil's son, has signed up with ICL. Gavaskar knows how to keep both sides of the ball shining.

Anyway, this is the beginning of the end for the ICC.

ICL should look at signing top Twenty20 hitters like Ian Harvey, Graeme Hick, Mark Ramprakash.

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