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'IPL no threat to international cricket'

ICC Principal adviser-designate, IS Bindra, asserts that the IPL only aims at taking the game to a higher level.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Mohali
UPDATED ON APR 18, 2008 09:18 PM IST

ICC Principal adviser-designate I S Bindra on Friday asserted that the Indian Premier League (IPL) was no threat to international cricket and was only aimed at taking the game to a higher level by changing with time.

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president in "Chairman's Message" on official website of the PCA said, "Let me make it absolutely clear that IPL is not out to disrupt international cricket, it is there only to enhance its stature. There are enough safeguards to protect the primacy of International Cricket Conference and its programmes."

"If there is any unfair speculation over IPL, it is only because it is in transitional period. It will take a couple of seasons to firm up. Players and cricket administrators should remember that no player can play in IPL without getting a no-objection certificate from his board and even retired players need clearance for the first two years," the former bureaucrat said.

The rumblings are being heard as powerbrokers of the game world over started to feel the IPL heat, Bindra said adding everyone knows that the IPL and the Champion League will soon inundate wider and newer areas of world cricket in a torrent.

"I am not at all surprised that some players' bodies and their international head are feeling insecure. Today the players know where their interests lay," he added.

"I am happy he has also hinted at revising the international calendar to adjust the IPL. That's the right way to go about it," he added.

Bindra said no one should have any illusions about IPL overshadowing international cricket or domestic events like Ranji Trophy, English County and Pura Cup in Australia.

"Did the English Premier League or the Champions League diminish the aura of World Cup or the European Championship? These embellishments have only taken the game to a higher level," he said.

He said the IPL has given the PCA and its stadium here a completely refurbished look and also how the association's interaction with IPL franchise Punjab IPL team has opened new vistas for state's young cricketers as the basic concept remains Mohali-centric.

He regretted that many did not like the auction of players as "Some likened it to the cattle fairs of yore. It is only the skills of the players that are being determined by the market forces, fixing a price.

"If free market is good for everything, how can it be bad for cricket? Come to think of it, who determines what the CEOs should get. It is the market," he explained.

He said thanks to the IPL, the infrastructure has been fast tracked at every venue by at least three years. Seventy per cent of money accruing from the Twenty20 tournament will enrich the state associations, he said adding they were talking of likely surplus of over Rs 200 crore from the event.

"For us in Mohali, the tie-up with the Franchise is not a commercial venture. We will be benefiting by the association with it because the PCA will be using the services of their coach and experts throughout the year.

"Coach Tom Moody will conduct clinics at various places in the state for the benefit of players from far-flung areas. The Franchise will work for the long-term development of the game at the grassroots level," he added.

Bindra said most importantly, the highly professional PCA management has also acquired greater managerial skills working with the international management experts.

"For the first time we have a disaster management drill in place at the Stadium to face any sudden natural disaster. We have here housekeeping agencies that work at Wimbledon and the US Open tennis and we can see the difference," he said.

"As I flew into Bangalore for the inaugural match of the IPL, my mind jogged me back to my initiation as cricket administrator three decades ago. It was here in Bangalore, I attended a raucous annual general meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

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