Full name Subhash Chandra
Born November 30, 1950, Hisar, Haryana
Current age 68 years 81 days
Subhash Chandra, chairman of the Essel group of industries, a vast business straddling the media and entertainment sectors, was an unknown man in cricketing circles till 2004 when his Zee television network bid for the Indian board's telecast rights for international matches. Zee was awarded the contract but ESPN-Star Sports, one of the bidders, went to court citing a clause saying bidders need to have experience in cricket broadcasting, which Zee lacked. The BCCI then cancelled the tender and the rights were subsequently sold on an ad hoc basis.
The Zee Group then signed a five-year deal with the BCCI in 2006 for rights to offshore matches involving the Indian team; the deal, worth $219 million, covered 25 matches but fell through within a year's time.
In April 2007, days after India's early exit from the World Cup, Chandra announced the launch of the Indian Cricket League, an annual Twenty20 tournament with an investment of approximately US$23 million. The BCCI declared it illegal and indicated that players signing up for the ICL would be banned for life. The ICL got Kapil Dev, Tony Greig and Dean Jones on board and Brian Lara as its first signing ahead of its planned launch in October.
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