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Indian Premier League Cricket News September 2007

Sri Lanka stars join Indian Premier League

Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and skipper Mahela Jayawardene have signed up for the new Twenty20 league in India next year, the cricket board said Monday.
The two stalwarts head a list of eight Sri Lankan players who have penned deals with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), vice-president Lalit Modi said in a statement. Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando complete the elite list.
The IPL, a Twenty20 competition to be held in India in April next year, offers three million dollars in prize money and will have eight teams to be bought by franchisees. The top two sides would make it to an international Champions Twenty20 League to be played at an as yet undecided venue in October next year. The IPL enjoys the backing of the International Cricket Council as against the rival Indian Cricket League, bankrolled by media baron Subhash Chandra.
"We at the IPL are committed to entice an entire new generation of sports fans into the grounds by showcasing some of the best cricketing talent on offer from the world over," Modi said. "The eight Sri Lankan cricketers joining the IPL truly do bring some great cricketing acumen to the league," said Modi, a key figure in the seven-member governing council set up by the BCCI for the initiative. The IPL has also signed up some recently-retired stars including Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath and New Zealand's Stephen Fleming.
The league is modelled on the system of franchises used by the American NFL and NBA. Each franchise will pay a fee to the BCCI, which in turn will give it access to shared revenues. The IPL is also likely to feature India's famed quartet of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. Teams could include up to four internationals besides domestic players and local youngsters.

Fleming signs to play in India

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and Australian cricket legends Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath will play in an official Twenty20 league in India next year.
The Australians and Fleming have signed deals with Board of Control for Cricket in India to play in the Indian Premier League, in which eight franchised sides will play for $4.26 million in prize money. They will be part of a BCCI central pool of players, available to be signed by franchisees.
Warne and Fleming had earlier been tipped as likely to join the rebel Indian Cricket League, bankrolled by media baron Subhash Chandra, which has signed at least seven international players.

BCCI launches Twenty20 league

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday (September 13), unveiled its ambitious plans for its Twenty20 league Indian Premier League at an event in Delhi to rival the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The event was attended by representatives of national cricketing bodies of all Test-playing nations as well as some of the top cricketers in the world, namely Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Glen McGrath, Stephen Fleming, and Anil Kumble all recruits of the IPL. IS Bindra, Chirayu Amin, Arun Jaitley, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Rajiv Shukla and Lalit Modi were named as members of the BCCI Indian Premier League Committee with Lalit Modi assuming the role of the chairman of the 7-member Governing Council which will run the league. ICC President Ray Mali also fully supported the BCCI's initiative to launch the league.
The Indian Premier League is scheduled to start in April 2008 and will last for 44 days involving 59 matches on a home-and-away basis with all matches being played under flood lights. Besides the IPL, the Champions Twenty20 League will be played in the first week of October 2008. Eight domestic teams from four nations will participate in the Champions Twenty20 League. Apart from India, Australia, England, South Africa will participate in the league, which will kick off in October 2008.
Prize money for the Indian Premier League will be US $3 million, where as the champion team in the Champions Twenty20 league will get US $5 million. This is the highest ever prize money for a cricket event.

BCCI planning Twenty20 league

The Board of Control for Cricket in India is planning to organise a high-profile Twenty20 league of its own to counter the challenge posed by the 'unofficial' Indian Cricket League.
The plan is still at a formative stage and it is learnt that the legendary Sunil Gavaskar will be asked to head the organising committee of the event, to be called "Professional Cricket League".
"We have been working on something for sometime now, but we are not yet ready to announce anything right now. When we are ready we will let you know," BCCI vice-president and marketing committee chief Lalit Modi said on Thursday. The proposal was not discussed at the BCCI's special General Body in Mumbai on Tuesday.
"There has been no discussion on this in the BCCI," a top source in the board said. Although BCCI officials were not willing to shed much light on the new proposal, it is learnt that two or three foreign players will be allowed to play in each team.
Jolted by the rebel ICL's massive recruitment drive, the BCCI has not only decided to ban defecting players but also announced substantial hikes in match fees and prize-money for domestic competition to prevent a fresh exodus.
The ICL, the brainchild of the Subhash Chandra-owned Essel Group, has so far recruited 44 first class players and seven from overseas, including West Indies batting great Brian Lara and former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.