Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Will You Be Watching?

December and January is usually packed with international cricket with all test playing countries involved in tours against each other. Apart from Australia and Bangladesh, this time round is no different with 4 different matches set to begin between Friday and Saturday.

The 2nd test between India and Pakistan gets underway tomorrow. The 2nd ODI between the Proteas and the Kiwis, who dished out a last ball nailbiter on Sunday, is also tomorrow. A rather low key ODI series between the Windies and Zimbabwe begins tomorrow. And Saturday is the 1st day of the 1st test between Sri Lanka and England.

Amidst all this international cricket hoopla, tomorrow will mark the launch of another cricket series. The Indian Cricket League 20-20 Championship!

The ICL, termed as "unofficial" and "rebel" by the ICC and the various cricket boards, is all set to roll out a glittering opening ceremony tomorrow. They have managed to rope in Bollywood bigwigs Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor to perform at the ceremony. Yana Gupta and the Band of Boys are expected to be there as well along with winners of the ZEE TV talent show 'Saregamapa'. The ceremony will be followed by the first match of the tournament.

The entire ICL 20-20 championship will be played at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula in Chandigarh. The home team, Chandigarh Lions will kick start the tournament playing against the Delhi Jets. Chris Cairns and Marvan Atapattu will walk out for the toss and internationals Imran Farhat, Dinesh Mongia, Darryl Tuffey, Hamish Marshall, Reetinder Sodhi, JP Yadav, Taufiq Umar, and Paul Nixon will be seen in action along with a host of talented Indian first class cricketers.

Add to this a commentary team comprising of Tony Greig, Dean Jones, Jeff Thomson, Mike Whitney, Pat Symcox, and Kapil Dev and you can expect a good product to be delivered by ZEE Sports tomorrow.

Those who are worried about who would watch this when an India-Pakistan series is going on should not be too worried as ZEE has planned it immaculately. The Lions vs Jets game will start an hour and half after the 1st day of the test ends. The cricket fan can expect to have a jam packed day tomorrow.

The ICL to me is a refreshing change. I have always enjoyed games involving international cricketers from different countries playing in the same team. Be it a World XI or an Asian XI its always intriguing to watch an Australian and an Indian or a Pakistani and a South African trying to take the attack apart. The ICL offers exactly this.

Will you be watching it?

Make your pitch on this post...



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9 Pitched:

  1. Straight Point said...
     

    yes i will be watching it coz the successes of it will augur well for indian cricket...

  2. Uncle J rod said...
     

    How long before Dean Jones says something to get himself fired.

  3. Q said...
     

    I can see Dean Jones calling Inzamam a terrorist and Inzamam running into the commentators box with a bat to beat him up.

    SP - It'll be good for Indian cricket only if the BCCI start recognizing it...it'll be great for the young indian cricketers like Rayudu and Abhishek and also great for Indian television.

  4. Soulberry said...
     

    I'll watch it. It fits neatly into my schedule firstly, and then, T20 is like the "gully cricket" we played. (I actually participated in, and helped organize,for a few years in a cricket tournament which would begin at 9.00 pm during the summer vacations and go on till 3.00 am or so, with 20 overs a side. Many Delhi clubs would turn up for it. Amit Bhandari, ex-India player and ex-Delhi captain and currently Delhi player/pacer, used to participate in too. There were some others who have gone on to play age-group cricket.)

    Also, the success of ICL will transform, albeit slightly, the stranglehold the establishment has over the game in the subcontinent.

    If it succeeds, you can rest assured Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be among the first to have their own tournaments. It is a different game to tests and ODIs, can survive on its own and can be conducted like the league championships/games in other sports.

    I'm rooting for Hyderabad (roots are there) and Delhi(shoots are here).

  5. Soulberry said...
     

    By the way, can you let us know about these players? I heard them being spoken of on 606.

    ALI ASAD
    IMAD WASEEM
    HASNAIN ABBAS
    ANWAR ALI
    ZULQARNAIN HAIDER
    ADIL RAZA
    KASHIF RAZA
    NAJAF SHAH

    Thanks.

  6. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    ICL's superannuated stars fail to inspire me.

    However I may end up watching it if I have nothing to blog about.:)

  7. Q said...
     

    Ottayan - I'm sure there are many who share the same feelings as u. I think Zee will be able to deliver a super product that will appeal to the public even if the internationals are those who are retired or not in their teams anymore.

    Soulberry - Najad Shah and Kashif Raza are pace bowlers and have played a couple of ODIs for Pakistan. Anwar Ali is a laeft arm fast bowler and was part of the u-19 team that won the world cup in 2006, he took 6 wickets in the final. Zulqarnain Haider is a wicket keeper who has been on the fringes of national selection for quite some time. He was part of a squad recently as back up keeper - on the tour to England in 2006 I think. The rest are all up and coming cricketers, very prominent on the domestic scene. I'll do a detailed post to tell u abt them in more detail.

    Whats is 606? and in what context did they mention the players?

  8. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,
    606 is a cricket forum on BBC.

  9. Miriam said...
     

    I'm quite excited that the ICL matches are on Zee music in the UK, a channel that is available to Sky subscribers. I'm going to try to catch some of it.

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