Indian Premier League 2009 April 23, 2009

An ICL hand in the IPL

Karna S

Phil Russell's status at the Kingsmead ground is unique - the much-respected curator is probably the only person involved with the IPL and its bitter rival, the ICL. Russell, who was the ICL's curator last season, is currently an advisor on the ground preparations at Kingsmead for the IPL tournament.

The antipathy of the Indian board - which owns the IPL - towards the ICL is famous: it has adopted a heavy-handed approach to players, officials, groundsmen and scorers, even commentators, involved with the unofficial league. It has even sought to influence other boards to adopt a similar stance. Somehow, Russell has slipped under the radar.

He entered into the reckoning when the ground's assistant curator was posted to Newlands to get that ground ready in time for the tournament and the Natal board sought someone with experience to fill the gap. Russell has been associated with the Kingsmead stadium for two decades and coached the Natal team, including Kevin Pietersen, for two years.

Then came the ICL. "He has been with us for the last two years," Kiran More, a member of the ICL's executive board, said. This year, too, we have asked him to come during July-August to take a look at the grounds and get them in shape for the November season."

Russell isn't the only ICL connection - the overhead sky cameras the IPL is using this season was used by the ICL in its last season. The camera - which slides on a cable approximately 40 feet above the centre pitch - is owned by the same company that loaned it to the ICL.

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  • Siddhartha on April 27, 2009, 4:17 GMT

    Whats the big deal in it if an icl curator prepares pitch in ipl

    and btw why all of you are only bashing modi when there is many dirt in the administration of various other boards of the world too

  • Mohan on April 24, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    Curators are always a thankless lot. No one cares about them after a thrilling match on a pitch that offers something to both batters and bowlers, but captains don't blink twice before blaming the curators if their batters collapse. I do hope that Mr. Russell is not shunted out by exceedingly arrogant Modi and his cronies at BCCI, in their obnoxious witch-hunt against the ICL.

  • Rajeev on April 24, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    I watch ICL and also IPL. Shh.... please dont let Lalit Modi know. He may ban me from watching IPL.

  • K on April 24, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    I suspect, Mr. Modi is going to cricket from IPL, because it is also related to ICL. Sometimes I feel he already has, this is just a stageshow by the filmstars!

  • talha on April 24, 2009, 7:09 GMT

    BCCI is going haywire over this whole icl issue. I think it is about time they stopped playing gods of cricket. You can't just stop people from earning through legal means. Mr. Modi has taken this too far and eventually this issue is going to bring his downfall, as arrogance cannot prosper for a long time. He is hurting the game and trying to take away rights of people for earning money through legal means. The indian gov has no objection over icl, so it doesn't become illegal in this way, its only the BCCI which is jumping up and down to make icl sound as an illegal tournament. I see Modi's downfall just coz of his arrogance.

  • Pranav on April 24, 2009, 6:51 GMT

    Where do I have to go and file a case against BCCI and ICC? Can anyone help me. Plus I don't have money to pay the fee and don't want to take from ICL but we need to stop this BCCI and ICC.

  • Mayur on April 24, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    Curators are the best thing to happen to CRICKET. A beautiful game comes to an end with an engrossing finish, making people gasp for breath with its touching finish, cannot be made sinful by asking the curators to step aside at the end of the day by making statements like "HEY...ISN'T HE THE SAME CURATOR WHO IS ALSO INVOLVED WITH ICL"?? Please for God sake NO..Carry on with the game gentlemen.

  • Daniel on April 24, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    It would be a miracle if Phil Russells and the overhead camera crew aren't shown the door by our "beloved" Mr. Modi. Anyway, Modi has got into legal trouble for a fraud in Rajasthan. To meet its selfish needs, the BCCI has done great harm to the spirit of sports!

  • g on April 24, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    what's next from BCCI? may be banning people to breathe the air commonly shared by ICL players? BCCI is as pathetic as the caste system in India. The sooner it perishes the better for humanity.

  • Jojy on April 24, 2009, 3:04 GMT

    uh-oh..I wouldn't be surprised if Modi made the SA board sack this man already.

    Its a shame the way the BCCI treat ICL.

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