Kapil welcomes BCCI's proposed league
Kapil Dev, the chairman of the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) executive board, has welcomed the Indian board's plans of launching an international Twenty20 league.
"If the board has decided that, I'm proud and happy that they endorse our view about Twenty20 cricket," Kapil said at a press conference in Chennai where the ICL camp in going on. "There's nothing wrong with them coming. Competition is good. Good luck to them."
Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, is expected to unveil the board's plans for the Pro20 league in Delhi today. Top board officials from India, Australia, England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will meet in Delhi to thrash out the preliminary details of the proposed league, which is expected to kick off some time in the second half of 2008.
Kapil said the ICL was not trying to fight the BCCI and its aim was simply to improve the standard of cricket in the country. "I am not bothered by monopoly or anything. I have to look after my home. If you don't disturb me, if you allow me to run my ICL, I'll be happy." He also promised to soon reveal big names that had signed on with the ICL.
Kapil said ICL's administration would be an open one - with everything, including selection, put live on television. "The time has come when people want to be more and more involved, so it's all going to be in the open. Some things, the committee might not want to televise, but 90% will be in the open."
The support that ICL has received from the public had been unexpected, according to Kapil. "There are a few teething problems in the first year and there has been some opposition. [But] whenever we've met common people, at airports, in railway stations, outside, you can't imagine how much encouragement we've got. Not just Indians here, but also Indians living abroad." He also dismissed the problem of grounds that ICL could face with the BCCI refusing to allow the league to use any ground that comes under its care. "Matches can be played here [at Mayajaal in Chennai] as well," Kapil said. "We'll go to schools; we'll go to the streets. We have to build."
The ICL plans to hold a Twenty20 tournament in October featuring six teams, each with two Indian internationals, four overseas players and eight juniors. Over 50 domestic players and over eight international players have already signed up with the league and more are expected to join.