Zee’s parallel domestic cricket league!

Strike when the iron is hot. Either Mr Subhash Chandra knows that, or he has been reading my blog :). Either way, glad to see Zee gets it. They just announced intentions of a parallel cricket league (Hindu, Rediff) :

  • Initially a Twenty20 league
  • Six teams to start with
  • 4 international players in each team
  • A corpus of Rs 100 crores to start with

Mohan, some body, Vasu, Vijay, Raghu – does it all sound familiar!? Didn’t I say 100 crores as well :) !? I was expecting Neo to get aggressive after the World Cup debacle, it is Zee instead. Well, whatever. I just want my dream of a solid domestic league to come true.

The interesting thing is, Mr Subhash Chadra has sought to play with BCCI (he has asked BCCI for permission). Sounds like a good approach, other option would be to take BCCI head on. I bet Neo won’t like either of it. After all they did pay a lot for TV rights, and part of the big sum must have been with domestic cricket in mind. So there could be some drama in store. BCCI works with Zee, Neo goes to court! Or BCCI says no and Zee “buys” some players out of BCCI. Or, BCCI takes time to get back, and Zee starts with semi-retired players – Kumble, Laxman, Dinesh Mongia etc, or the young ones – Manoj Tiwari types?

Anyways. Let us keep watching what Mr Subhash Chandra does. Neo, Zee or BCCI itself, whoever makes it happen, we, the fans of the game are bound to be winners in the end!

PS: For those who I haven’t bored with these thoughts yet: see old posts, this (Neo’s all start cricket), this (Cricket vs Baseball) or this.


17 Responses

  1. “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”

    mohan and i were discussing this (again) just yesterday on churumuri; prem provides some historical perspective.

    – s.b.

  2. i would love to see some sort of domestic sports competitions in india. we just need to find a way to get the public/media interest in a sport other than cricket. i mean i follow nfl, nba, mlb and even nhl when therez nothin else on tv. with india being such a diverse country it is definitely achievable to bring inter-state/ inter-city rivalries in sports. i just cannot see why no one is even starting to think in that direction. there is billions of money in that.

  3. Dude, You were the one i was thinking about as i was reading the news article in rediff ..!! :-)
    Dreams do come true ….

  4. i still maintain it is best to watch first class matches, inter college, inter school, neighborhood matches and beedi cricket. where at stake is pride and only pride. even better play neighborhood matches and beedi cricket.


  5. tarle:

    i was thinking along the lines of what you wrote a few minutes ago. we should have a regular inter-college cricket season; maybe have a tiered structure similar to the ncaa in the usa (and other leagues in europe or elsewhere) – div-i, div-ii etc.

    another thought: players selected to the ‘national team’ must be given only honorary remuneration. that takes care of ‘attitude’ – no more can anyone question anyone’s attitude if that person plays for free. any ad earnings for players in that ‘national team’ should be shared equally across the team – that will take care of those who would still try to put personal goals above the team’s goals. carrying this one step further, maybe the ads can have the entire team instead of the lone dhoni parachuting from an airplane!

    for established ‘indian team’ players, two or three bad performances on the trot should result in the player being dropped from the team; that way more players will get match practice – hopefully, there will always be others waiting to step into the breach. new players should get more chances to cement their place.

    like a co-worker said (and i commented somewhere else): in the current indian team, the players are selected based on their performance, but is not dropped based on his (below par) performance.

    finally, there will be the zee’s icl – for professional players only. they can make as much money as they want and from whichever source they want – gate collections, ad earning, bookies, you name it. players entering this league may come directly through the college or via the ‘national team’ route, if they so wish (either way, they will have to declare themselves ‘eligible’ for professional selection much like players in the usa do), or can also come from abroad (maybe limit foreign players to one per team or two per team, somewhat like the english first class or our own indian national football league). and this would be a point of no return for the indian cricketer, i.e., once he is a professional, the player would be ineligible for selection into the national team.

    – s.b.

    p.s.: i wrote all the above without really paying a lot of thought into it, so i reserve the right to take it all back tomorrow (in hindsight, maybe i should have said all this on april 1st :-). all the same, right now, this is what i feel!

  6. Pranav: Hes definitely been reading your blog.

    I agree with TS that a game played on its merit is interesting regardless of level. I still remember sneaking away from school to watch the Pentangular tourney in Bangalore or State Bank of India with G.R. Vishwanath, Binny, Kirmani take on all comers in the First Division leagues…

    Hopefully this will get rid of the politician types who seem to administer the game in India…

  7. pranav: I was expecting bcci to take the initiative, but looks like zee beat them to it. anyway, it is good news for all cricket lovers. Let’s hope he is able to lure quite a few international players and is successful in shaking up the entire cricket system. It is badly in need of a shake-up.

  8. Vasu, yes!!

    Yugan, folks are trying. ESPN – PHL (Hockey). Zee itself – football league(called NFL), don’t think many watch those first division matches. Let Zee or Neo or BCCI make a good structure around cricket first. That could inspire other sports bodies. Why not Golf where standards are not bad, our guys are good Pros at Asian level. We are all such ‘cut-throat’ drivers, may be a domestic racing circuit will work as well. Basically, just need some local sports action to fill evening and weekend hours on TV.

    Good thoughts s. b.. That way, “national team” will be more of a pride thing. Guys will make money in the league. I guess this is how European soccer is, isn’t it?

    Mohan, you never know, I think BCCI was already thinking about it. Now that Zee has put some pressure, things should move faster. I am thinking they may look at joining hands with Pak/Lanka and Bangla boards to create a broader league.

    Vijay, TS, agree.

  9. any idea how we became a cricket obsessed nation? were we always obsessed with it or have become obsessive after winning the world cup (when was it btw?)? i mean why arent we fascinated, lets say by table tennis or gymnastics or any other game for that matter?

  10. and while we are at it, any idea who decides what our national game is? what does one mean by “national game”? is it written in our constitution? :-)

  11. “Why not Golf where standards are not bad, our guys are good Pros at Asian level. We are all such ‘cut-throat’ drivers, may be a domestic racing circuit will work as well.”

    ha ha! i got to comment on this one. our desi golf professionals are not just cut-throat drivers of the golf ball, but also of the car!

    – s.b.

  12. If more games are played in the weekends, more people might watch it live or on TV. Also, news/sports channel incessantly showing local sports will help.

  13. Right N. Friday evening matches? And then 1 match Sat and Sun afternoon each. Can have two seasons perhaps. Summer months for Twenty20 league – because you can only play in the nights. And winter for an One-Day league. Play all year because we want to watch! I am sick of hearing players complain they play too many matches. Well, if you can’t play more than 40-50 days an year, let someone else take your place after you get “tired”!

    League spans Indo/Pak/Bangla/Lanka. League can “promote” cricket around the world by staging random matches in US or Russia or wherever!

    An inter-college/university league to feed players to this league.

    BTW, Zee has also got to force Info & Broadcast ministry to let some FM stations carry live sports. It is stupid enough that in our supposedly free and democratic country, FM stations can’t do news or live sports.

    I am going crazy now, with the hope that Subhash Chandra will hire me :)

  14. s.b., you are just too current on things. However, I am not sure if Arjun Atwal would do such a thing, that must have been a genuine accident. Logic – in general, when in US, we Indians drive like well behaved NCC scouts. Different story the moment we get back to home-turf! :)

  15. march madness appears to have struck at midnight. from what i read, they were apparently racing down the street. our guy managed to make a sharp turn, the other dude obviously failed to do so.

    it is not that i am too current – this happened in my (not literally) backyard!

    geopakistani.com has some great interviews (pre and post pakistan’s world cup 2007) with imran khan – check them out if you have time! he also has been proposing to revamp their cricket league system.

    – s.b.

  16. re-read my comment # 5 above, then read this.

    – s.b.

  17. […] iron is hot Mr Chandra. Hope you will time your strike […]

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