In the process, they [Sri Lanka Cricket] have also stood up for logic and common sense, neither of which has anything to do with BCCI’s campaign against ICL. The Indian board’s Indian Premier League and ICL are played on exactly the same format. ICL was the first to offer dozens of cricketers, who had reconciled to the humdrum and wilderness of domestic cricket, the opportunity to earn a decent livelihood and be part of a properly televised event. The fact that many of them took the opportunity is no reason to ban them. After all, BCCI had not offered them any better alternative.
BCCI’s lack of opposition to the Stanford 20/20 jamboree, which promises to make individual players richer by up to a million dollars, betrays the deep-seated lack of clarity in the Indian board. Stanford is an oil billionaire who has spotted opportunity in 20/20 cricket; Subhash Chandra, who is behind ICL, made his money in media and packaging. What are the criteria on the basis of which ICL is anathema and Stanford is not? Both ICL and Stanford’s tournament, just as BCCI’s own IPL, are about the game of cricket.
Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo