New Delhi: The Magpie Sports Group (MSG) on Saturday unveiled ambitious plans for the upcoming inaugural edition of the Indian Champions League (ICL).
The ICL, to be organised on the lines of the Masters Champions League (MCL), will be a franchisee based Twenty20 tournament slated to be held in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking exclusively to IANS, Magpie Sports Group Director Manish Kumar Choudhary informed that the ICL organisers are planning to rope in several stars from the current Indian team as well as former players.
Asserting that the ICL will provide a platform for youngsters and current players to play alongside former international stars, the official confirmed that a lot of Indian players have contacted them.
“We are planning to sign several players from the Indian team, as well as from the Ranji Trophy. We will approach the India team players once they return from their overseas tour,” said Choudhary told on Saturday.
“The ICL will feature former cricketers as well as current players. We will also give exposure to young, upcoming players. We will soon hold selection camps to identify and select talented young players for the ICL,” he added.
But the proposed league has already run into problems, with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) cautioning cricketers against joining the league as it has not been approved by the appropriate authorities.
FICA is the global players’ representative body that includes player associations from individual countries.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also not too keen on the ICL and has reportedly rejected a proposal from the ICL organisers earlier.
The MSG Director however asserted that the ICL organisers are determined to go ahead with their plans for the proposed tournament and will hold a meeting with ICC officials later this month.
“We will meet the ICC board later this month. We have also roped in several retired players as experts. Kapil Dev is already on board with us while we are in talks with former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani. We are holding talks with several other former players as well, but will not disclose their names at this stage,” Choudhary said.
“We have nothing to do with the BCCI. We are approaching the ICC. If we wanted to hold the event in India, then we would have definitely asked for the BCCI’s help. But since our event is being held in Dubai, we are approaching the ICC,” he added.
“We will organise the tournament according to the ICC guidelines.”
He also asserted that tainted former Pakistan leg-spinner spinner Danish Kaneria will not be a part of the ICL.
Kaneria, who was arrested in 2010 for his alleged involvement in spot fixing, was subsequently banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“There have been reports in the media that Danish Kaneria will be part of the ICL. This is not true. He has been banned by the ICC and we have not approached his to play in the ICL,” Choudhary informed.
The tournament format will comprise a total of 52 matches, including the two semi-finals and the final, with eight franchises playing six matches each in the league stage.
The price cap for the players has been fixed between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 20 lakh with the winning team taking home a purse of Rs 1 crore.
Some of the players who have confirmed their participation for the ICL are former West Indies star Shivnarain Chandrapaul (Rs 15 lakh) along with his compatriots Tino Best (Rs 12 lakh), Pedro Collins (Rs 10 lakh), Ryan Hinds (Rs 8 lakh) and Floyed Reifer (Rs 9 lakh).
The New Zealand duo of Luke Woodcock (Rs 10 lakh) and Garateh Hopkins, Mark Vermeolan (Rs 11 lakh) of Zimbabwe, Preston Mommsen (Rs 10 lakh) of Scotland and Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naveed are also slated to take part in the tournament.