'Idea is also to develop India ... as the laboratory' : Subhash Chandra July 6, 2007

ICL hopes to bring innovations in cricket

Cricinfo staff

Subhash Chandra, the head of the Essel Group, intends to make India "the laboratory to innovate new methods of cricket" through the Indian Cricket League (ICL), a report in Khaleej Times said.

"The idea is also to develop India, a leading cricketing nation, as the laboratory to innovate new models of cricket so that we set the agenda for innovation for others to follow," Chandra wrote in a three-page etter faxed to Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, on April 3, the day he announced the formation of the ICL.

The ICL, Chandra said, would take a "meticulous and out-of-the-box approach to the game to raise its standards, which involves creation of international standard infrastructure". It will tap talent "with the aid of modern technological and communication tools" and provide them financial assistance.

The ICL, which has signed up Kapil Dev, Kiran More, Sandeep Patil, Tony Greig and Dean Jones in various capacities, will have matches of 20 overs a side. Each side will have two top Indian and four foreign players.

The prize money for the tournament, which will be telecast on Zee Sports, includes $1 million for the winners.

While conceding that the national board "is the only way to make cricket competition between national teams work", Chandra said the history of modern cricket shows that innovation has largely taken place outside the establishment. "In my understanding, their constraints rob the cricket establishments of the flexibility needed to adopt a new vision-cum-action model like the 3-D approach."

The BCCI, in its response to the ICL's proposal, has ruled out any cooperation and has revoked the pensions of players who have joined the ICL.