Friday, January 9, 2009

ICL to close shop?

This could well be biggest development of 2009. The rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) is all set to be wound up, if the rumour mills are anything to go by. The buzz in the Indian cricket circles is that by the second week of January, the first signs of a rapproachment between the ICL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to emerge.

This follows a meeting held in New Delhi between the International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan and vice-president Sharad Pawar with senior ICL officials including its chairman Subhash Chandra. Pawar, a former BCCI president is now leading the talks on behalf both India and also the ICC. The sum total of the discussions is likely to result in ICL being winding up and the ban on the players joining the league being lifted.

Also likely to go is the ban on Zee bidding for TV rights held by the BCCI. But the biggest development is likely to be the fact that ICL will be allowed to buy one team in BCCI's own Indian Premier League (IPL).

ICC on its part too likely to send a list of guidelines for ICL for it be integrated in the mainstream. All said, sources within the ICL and the BCCI claim that a major announcement is likely on January 31 when the ICC executive board meeting sits in Perth.

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