The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), flexing its muscles, got officials of the top cricket playing nations and the International Cricket Council (ICC) together here to announce a new Twenty20 tournament—the Indian Premier League (IPL)—which will feature private teams made up of both domestic and international
players and carry a total prize money of $3 million (Rs12.1 crore). The new tournament, scheduled for April, is widely seen as a counter to the fledgeling rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) promoted by media baron Subhash Chandra, which the BCCI has strongly opposed.
Flexing muscles: BCCI president Sharad Pawar, cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar at BCCI conference in New Delhi on Thursday.
Simultaneously, Australian cricket board chief executive James Sutherland announced a twin tournament, the Champions Twenty20 League, which will see the Top 2 IPL teams compete with those from Australia, England and South Africa, three countries where this format of the game is already popular, for a prize money of $5 million. The ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup has a prize money of $1.9 million.
BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said the IPL would be of a franchisee model, where individuals or corporate entities would bid for the eight teams that would be set up by the IPL governing body. “We have 30 individuals and corporations who have asked us about the league,” he said, but declined to identify them.
Modi said the financial model was yet to be firmed up, but BCCI expected a fee and a percentage of revenues from media rights, sponsorships and primary sports rights. The franchisee would retain rights to ticket sales and merchandising. Moreover, the teams could be traded and listed on the stock exchange, ensuring “good returns to the franchisee”.
Players, on whom there will be a salary cap, could also be traded between teams on the lines of practices followed in American professional sports or European soccer.
A spokesperson for the ICL couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on BCCI moves.