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BCCI shudders as ICL gains momentum

August 20, 2007

Text: Prem Panicker

Last night, Sonali Chander helmed a 'Cricket Controversies' segment on NDTV that focussed on ICL; the peg: the nascent league's plans to announce, today, the first lot of signings and as a related development, the BCCI's decision to hold a special general meeting (about ten days after it held an extraordinary general meeting) on the subject of the ICL, tomorrow.

Much of it was cacophony: Ajay Jadeja (who at one point remarked that while Rayudu had missed the India A cut, Shivlal Yadav's son had made it despite scoring less than half the former's runs; Kesavan has more on the subject on his blog) and Vijay Dahiya had some points to make, but Chander insisted on talking right through their words.

Also Read: Five Pakistan players sign up for ICL

Had she at the least done the same when Navjot Sidhu was talking, we could have been spared his motormouth riffs; thrice during the show, he got his turn at bat and each time, went one, they are in it for the money, two, why are they in it for the money… holding up fingers to enumerate 'points' that together, didn't amount to a hill of beans.

The ICL rep, talking on video linkup from Mumbai, had a couple of interesting points to make: Why, he asked, is everyone debating why players would want to sign on for a league that takes up just two months of the calendar year? Are you sure this league is all there is to it? Why can't there be more—in other forms of the game? Why not even a parallel world championship?

I could have missed an earlier sound byte or two, but to the best of my memory, this is the first an ICL rep is openly talking of going beyond the initially mooted Twenty20 format, and into ODIs and maybe even the longer version.

Image: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Azhar Mahmood and Mohammed Yousuf at a training session. The ICL has signed the three cricketers and Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat.

Photographs: Getty Images

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