The Indian Cricket League will carry a hefty prize-money of Rs 15 crore, by far the highest in any sport in Indian domestic circuit. “We want to change the whole look of domestic cricket and this prize-money is a step towards achieving that objective,” said Essel group vice-president Ashish Kaul.
Giving the break-up of the prize-money, Kaul said the winners will carry home Rs 3.9 crore, while the runners-up will be richer by 1.9 crore. The remaining four teams will walk away with Rs 1.5 crore, Rs 1.25 crore, Rs 1 crore and Rs 85 lakh.
Besides, there is a cash award of Rs 18.75 lakh to be won in each game. “The winning team will pocket the entire amount, with man of the match picking up another 3.75 lakh,” said Kaul, adding that they have already invested approximately $25 million into the project.
Besides the rich cash award, the other heartening news for the players is the ICL’s plan to conduct another tournament in March this year. “We have been promised that this particular tournament is not the end all and be all of the ICL. There is another tournament coming up in March as well, and it could be a 50-over game,” said a player.
“We are indeed planning a tournament somewhere around March. But the modalities are yet to be worked out,” said Kaul. He, however, agreed that tournament could be a 50-over affair, saying that ICL was an on-going project and it would gradually include other formats as well.
“The big prize-money is indeed a big incentive for the players. Besides, more tournaments will be an icing on the cake as it answers what we will do after playing this event,” said a Chandigarh Lions player.
Delhi to take on Chandigarh
The ICL finally begins on Friday when Delhi Jets will take on Chandigarh Lions in the inaugural match at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium. The floodlit venue can seat about 7,000.
The Jets players to watch out for are skipper Marvan Atapattu, Taufiq Umer, apart from Paul Nixon and JP Yadav.
Chandigarh’s noticeable players are Imran Farhat, Chris Cairns, Andrew Hall and Dinesh Mongia.
The tournament will see some new rules, like no runs from overthrows if a fielder throws down the stumps. (By Heena Zuni Pandit)