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'ICL no match for mainstream cricket'

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed takes a dig at the rebel league and says it can never hope to match the aura of an India-Pakistan series.

cricket Updated: Aug 29, 2007 19:05 IST

Sneering at the Indian Cricket League, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed on Wednesday said the ICL, effectively a get-together of faded stars and fringe players, can never hope to match the aura of an India-Pakistan series.

The ICC chief executive, who was in the Capital to unveil the trophy for the Twenty20 World Championship, took a dig at the rebel league and said it could never match mainstream cricket.

"What is being proposed by the Indian Cricket League is a six-team event for about three-four weeks, featuring some provincial players, apart from some retired cricketers. Now you have to be careful to draw a comparison, for you know that an India-Pakistan Test series would draw more millions.

"It's about domestic cricketers and retired players and you can't really make a comparison," he said.

Speed said ICL, the Essel Group-backed venture, have not applied for ICC approval and also made it clear that unless BCCI approves the breakaway league there is no question of giving the ICC nod for the event.

Speed said the governing body was not surprised by the emergence of this kind of venture.

"Two years back, we could see that private promoters, television channel proprietors, sports marketing agents would be interested to run their league and make money out of it. So we are not really surprised.

"But if you apply for ICC approval, we have a five-stage system in place, going by which, we ask the member board of the country concerned whether they have approved it. If they have not, we can't approve it either. It's common sense."

First Published: Aug 29, 2007 18:38 IST