Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has ruled out the possibility of official sanction to the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as it fails to meet the norms of 'authorised unofficial cricket'. Modi added that it wouldn't be possible to sanction the ICL because there is no window in the international calendar to accommodate the tournament.
Modi, who is also a BCCI vice-president, is part of a five-member ICC panel to review the laws governing official and unofficial cricket. He also emphasised that the BCCI isn't just sidelining the ICL and that similar tournaments that come up will be treated the same way.
"Recognition comes with a lot of caveats and with lot of conditions and lot of rules," Modi told the business news channel CNBC-TV 18. "I do not think this particular tournament (ICL) would be able to adhere to those conditions. If you look at a window, where is the window at the end of the day? We are having a tough time ourselves at the BCCI.
"It is not only the ICL. The ethos and the new tournaments that are coming up by corporates are for profit making. So it is not one issue. There are many issues that are involved in terms of deciding whether what official cricket or unofficial cricket should be and this is a mandate the ICC is looking into."
Modi felt there was no place for parallel leagues in sport today. "In every country, in every sport there is a pyramid system for running and controlling a particular sport," he said. "We need to ensure that that pyramid is intact and that from the ICC's perspective whatever partnerships that the ICC and its members have with their commercial partners or with their players, is there to stay."
Looking back at the first season of the IPL, Modi claimed that three teams, including the Kolkata Knight Riders, have broken even but added that it would take at least four years for all eight teams to break even. The top two sides - Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Superkings - will take part in the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League from December 3-10 and Modi said those teams will naturally benefit more.
"I think in year one, three teams will make money realistically," he said. "But I originally predicted that they would all break even by year four. Rajasthan Royals (the IPL winners) have now qualified for the Champions League and they get a large purse and participation fees."
Clarifying the rules for trading players for the second season - set to get underway in April 2009 - Modi said teams that have spent less than the US$ 5million cap for the first year will not be able to carry over the remainder for the next auction as it would give them an advantage over the others.
The IPL auction will take place in Mumbai on February 6 for franchises to purchase new players and an extra US $2 million will be given to each for that purpose. The maximum number of foreign players per team has been increased from eight to ten. Teams will now have the option of transferring players and Modi confirmed that that the transfer price and revenue sharing after the transfer will have to be mutually decided between the player and the team owner.
"Teams and club owners, when they bought the team in year one they bought blindly," Modi said. "Since the owner has signed a three-year contract with a particular player, he will decide whether to put that player in the trading window and then he needs to get the consent of the player before putting him on the trading window. Then they have to decide mutually what the price is going to be. The base price must remain same as the auction price because the player can't get anything less."