Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If Ijaz Butt's comments are to be believed, talks of a possible merger between the Indian Premier League and the Indian Cricket League were held during the recently held ICC moot in Dubai.

During that meeting the BCCI was asked to meet the ICL officials to possible come up with a solution regarding the league and its players considered to be rebels.

Ijaz Butt, at his 1st press conference since taking over as PCB Chairman, claimed that a merger was suggested.

Butt has definitely come out with something that was discussed behind closed doors and this would definitely not please the BCCI or the ICC.

At a time when Pakistan cricket requires all the support it can get, Butt cannot afford to get on the wrong side of anyone, let alone the BCCI.

Lalit Modi & Co. are sure to come out with a reaction soon.

And I can almost see the grins on the faces of Subhash Chandra and Kapil Dev.

What I don't understand though is that how can the smartest cricket brains in the world (they should be that if they're heading the national cricket boards) even think about a possible merger between the IPL and the ICL.

A league with 17 teams including multiple teams from the same region hardly sounds feasible.

So why would these so called cricket brains even think of such an idea?

In my view, the simplest solution is to allow the ICL players to play for their regional teams in domestic competitions and also allow them to be considered for international duty.

No one has to do anything more. And I doubt the ICL is looking for anything more. Maybe they want the BCCI's help in gaining access to more grounds and facilities for holding matches and practices, but surely they are not looking for the two leagues to be merged.

So why is the ICC even discussing such a solution?

The best solution, one that I would like to see, is that the bans on the players be lifted and the ICL winners be granted entry into the 20-20 Champions League.

That for me is the ideal scenario. Not an IPCL!

Make your pitch on this post...

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28 Pitched:

  1. scorpicity said...

    Interesting... Wasim too brought out a similar post... let the ICC first define what the ICL is and what it's place is in cricket... golden question... As it stands now, they are a bunch of pirates with the sole purpose of stealing money.

  2. Wasim said...

    I don't think a merger is possible in any way unless ICL management is willing to sell majority shares to BCCI and Bcci runs this league as a parallel league for retired and 2nd string players.

    Legalizing ICL and lifting of bans means Ipl will lose its niche i.e control over the supply of top ranking players as a result ICL and IPL will come close to each other in terms of standard, the operating cost for both leagues will go up as a result of competition.

    The best way to deal with this situation is to lift the bans on players and leave these leagues to sort out their problems on their own.

  3. khansahab said...


    What do you think about this India-Pakistan series which is only 3 or so months ahead.

    Pakistan has got so accustomed to playing minnows that I think Pakistan will suffer its worst defeat in decades against India, as much as I'd like the result to be different.

    The Pakistani players should take that tour as an opportunity to learn from the Indians about their professionalism, team unity and commitment.

    We have placed too much hope in Malik. Look at Dhoni who is less experienced than Malik but he is very smart and has a balanced head on his shoulders. It is futile hoping that Malik will improve his captaincy or will be reformed. After playing 167 ODI's he still appears confused on the field and makes some very basic mistakes.

    This is how I want the ODI line up to be:

    Afridi (captain)
    Akmal or Sarfraz
    Sohail Khan

    I don't think this batting is vulnerable because of Arafat's presence, because Misbah will now have a chance to build up his innings and "hang in there". Younis is not very responsible at no 3 so later down the order we will see a changed Younis Khan. I am 100% sure this is a strong bowling as well as batting line up. Malik was Pakistan's best ODI batsman at no 3, so it is best to use him in that position instead of Younis Khan.

  4. Straight Point said...

    why he is making so mch statements is beyond me...what's the necessity...?

    i am bit confused here...

    at one hand he looks like a man to ct out for the job...the type of man pcb really needs...and on another had are his statements...

    i think we all suffer from rhetoric sound bytes rather than focusing on real issues at hand...

    as you rightly pointed out at this point of time pcb needs evey bit of support it can gather...not another controversy...or conflict of interests...

  5. Q said...

    Scorps, Wasim, SP - I agree with all the points u guys make.

  6. Q said...

    Khansahab, I don't agree with Afridi opening the innings and I don't agree with Arafat's presence in the XI. Arafat has always been very expensive and his batting has not been that good to warrant him a place in the starting XI.

    I want Razzak to come back to the ODI side. We are desperately missing him.

    We need a specialist opener to partner butt and i dont c how we can drop Yousuf, who is stilll our best batsman in ODIs.

    This is the team I would like:

    Salman Butt
    Shoaib Malik
    Younis Khan
    Mohammad Yousuf
    Misbah Ul Haq
    Fawad Alam
    Shahid Afridi
    Abdul Razzak
    Kamran Akmal
    Sohail Tanvir
    Shoaib Akhtar

    Nasir Jamshed
    Umar Gul
    Sohail Khan
    Amwar ALi
    Saeed Ajmal

  7. khansahab said...


    Yousuf is our best batsman no doubt but looking to the future I don't feel there is much point in him being in the side. One of the reasons why he is a class above Younis and Misbah is because both of these players have failed to shine in their current positions.

    But without Yousuf, they will get more chances. Misbah is being wasted at no 5 and 6- he has so much experience and he must be utilised at no 4. He has not proved to be a finisher so far so it's best to promote him in the order. Yousuf makes lots of runs but in every match he concedes plenty of runs for the opposition because of his fielding.

    Whereas with Younis, before this year his average at no 3 was only about 32, which is mediocre. At nos 5 and 6 he averages much more so I think we should play him where he can bat best. I don't understand why he bats at no 3 for Pakistan when he bats at no 5 or 6 for Peshawar usually.

    As for Arafat, he might be expensive but he has a high strike rate. He can also hit and his inclusion will greatly bolster the the bowling attack. We can't depend much on the bowling of Malik and we know Fawad is not a reliable bowler.

  8. khansahab said...


    You may have thought my criticism of Ijaz Butt was uncalled for, but Kamran Abbasi has initiated a new thread on exactly what I said about Mr Butt.

  9. Q said...

    I read that thread Khansahab... Abbassi has lashed out at Ijaz Butt. I still think Butt did the right thing telling people where they stood.

    They haven't done anything for Pak Cricket and its time someone told them.

  10. Buzzz said...

    Merger wont happen and Modi/ BCCI wont flinch...this has now become more of a personal egoes battle than the quality or ethics....

    ICL is unattractive and barring harris, Cairns, Martyo, Gillespie, Kasper, Spinach , Mushtaqs and the peerless Inzy, nobody is worth watching....

    i just imagine what if Inzy didnt jump to ICL, he would have been more richer in IPL....

    i agree with scorpi tht ICL is nothing but a bnch of pirates, even worse than somalies :)

  11. Wasim said...


    This battle is becoming more complex,ICL is contending in Delhi HC that BCCI is a private company so it should not be allowed to use Indian flag and their team should not be recognized as the official team of India.

    If Icl is recognized and allowed to operate parallel to BCCI then in future the question will arise as to which one represents the official team,its a new dimension to the case, and I am sure this issue must have been brought up in the close door meetings and a merger of the two organizations must have been discussed as a solution.

    I do agree that Mr Butt should have exercised some discretion but I think he is adopting an aggressive strategy towards ICC and other boards since they have done nothing to bring back international cricket in Pakistan, PCB has already given up hope on hosting international teams in near future and they are making arrangements for alternate venues abroad,PCB does not need to be on the defensive anymore they are trying to make their voice independent again,we have done a lot of begging and pleading its time to be aggressive.

  12. Q said...

    Khansahab, I think Yousuf can play for Pakistan for another 3 years. We sure need him.

    As for Misbah, I think he is better at 5-6.. he might not be able to do better at number 3... h plays better near the end of the innings...

    As for Arafat.. we dont need another allrounder with Malik and Afridi in the team.. Razzak would be a better bet or a pure pace bowler like Anwar Ali or Sohail Khan...

  13. Q said...

    Buzzz I don't think the ICL is unattractive. They have catered to all of Pakistan with the whole Lahore Badshahs team... Its definitely bigger than the IPL in Pakistan... its quite popular in Dubai, US, and UK as well, again primarily within the Pak community.

    I think with the state our national team is in and the lack of cricket gives us an alternative in another international looking side - from a marketing perspective this was a bullseye from ICL.

    And so far the matches that i have seen have been housefull... filling up the stadiums surely does not show that it is unattractive.

  14. Q said...

    Wasim, if that is in fact what Butt is doing then may the force be with him!

  15. scorpicity said...

    The way forward is the ICL split a significant portion back into the development of cricket... it has got to be non-profit. Otherwise, we are opening up a very dangerous situation where every rich tom and dick will start a tournament with the sole purpose of making money and nothing will go into the development of the game. How will the ICC then manage an already chaotic future tour program and all the legal conflicts that would come.

    Everyone has to be careful with their words and thoughts about the ICL... one wrong move and cricket is dead. Hope the boards give it a very careful thought.

  16. Q said...

    Scorps, the money that ICL or rather Zee makes from ICL goes back into the development of cricket grounds where ICL can hold matches, development of cricker facilities, payment to coaches and fitness trainers who help develop the ICL cricketers... and so on.. so in hindsight Subhash Chandra is taking a chunk out of his earnings to develop cricket in India...

    How else would u like to see the ICL develop cricket?

    U cant expect it to develop it in other countries as that is the ICC's job. The way I see it, the ICL should show some commitment to developing cricket in India.

    That it is alredy doing.

    In fact through the ICL it can provide the BCCI cricketers who would be better equipped to play internationals than those coming out cricket academies in India.

    Is that not developing the game in India?

  17. khansahab said...


    Why is there so much support for Abdul Razzaq? He was the man who became a liability since 2005 or so. He could not bowl or bat and he certainly could not field.

    Azhar Mahmood can bowl and bat better than him- why not ask for Mahmood then? You can look at the results of the ICL and see Mahmood is doing better than Razzaq.

    Razzaq is just a name and nothing else- Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir can hit the ball better than him now. I am not disputing that at his peak Razzaq was the best all rounder in the world.

    The manic support for Razzaq reminds me of how much Pakistanis are asking for Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat to come back in the team. Nazir was never more than a T20 player- in T20 I will say he is an automatic selection but he is not an ODI or Test level batsman. Farhat was always a very mediocre player and under Inzamam he was tried for one year but failed miserably.

  18. Q said...

    Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat have had their chances. I don't think they should given any more.

    The one who was truly mishandled by the selectors was Taufeeq Umar, who had a wonderful run in test cricket and was dropped after a few failures.

    Nazir and Farhat still repeat the same mistakes.

    As for Razzak - he played some good innings on the England tour in 2006.. he had a bad series against South Africa and then missed the world cup cos of injury. He came back against SL and didn't do too well in the 1 innings he got. So I think he was unfairly treated.

    His bowling had deteriorated long back but he still continued to pick up important wickets in matches.

    He was a utility player and we're definitely missing him in the lower order.

  19. Wasim said...


    Imran Nazir is still good enough only for T20. Razzak is a shadow of his past. Taufeeq Umar is not even doing well in ICL he is too nervous and shaky, I do agree that he didn't get enough chances as compared to others.
    What I am really concerned about is the standard of our domestic cricket, I am watching some re-runs of RBS tournament and I was disappointed to see the poor standard of the game. There is no upcoming talent in batting and spin bowling in the country.
    The pace attack of Badshahs look better in terms of ability to swing than the current Pakistan pace attack.

  20. Wasim said...

    The Lahore Badshah players are also losing form and fitness as they were not allowed to play in domestic cricket, so overall its a sad situation and I think not only Pakistan cricket is at loss but also cricket in general.

  21. scorpicity said...


    I would not say that is a chunk of his earning but rather a much needed basic level investment for the success of the ICL. The grounds belong to the states and he has to make these grounds spectator friendly and give facilities for the players at a basic level.

    Coaches, fitness trainers are an absolute necessity because many will be rusty.

    By the term development of cricket, I meant a system, which is tough for him to organize.

    If I and you have to play for the ICL where do we start? There is no alternative system. It will be difficult for him to start one nor has he given any indication on what he wants to do. We have to start with the BCCIs system, and that's a fundamental problem considering he locked horns with them without bothering to get his idea through with them.

    The best solution forward is the ICL declare that it will give back a significant portion of the profits back to the system, ICC or BCCI, in return they and the BCCI share and reap the benefits together... or he starts a system. If they arm-twist here after offering to do this, they have a good case on their hands.

    So far I don't see this level of commitment. When I do, I will welcome it... right now, everything is going out of hand with the folks at ICL and IPL.

    To start with, let them ddefine what the ICL is about... so far they are unable to clearly.

    And frankly, now that both these folks are over doing it, I've pretty much and a lot of folks have lost interest in these tournaments.

    Cheers mate

  22. Damith S. said...

    dint this meeting last like 15 mins or so ? with the ipl blokes just shutting down the icl ?

  23. Q said...

    Wasim we need the ICL players back on our domestic circuit.

    Razzak got injured and was sidelined. He still has it in him to be a champion. He only played 3 matches after coming back from injury...

    Taufeeq Umar was brilliant in test matches. Im not calling for his inclusion now as he has lost his ability being away from the game and playing in leagues all over the world. He wasn't an ODI or T20 player - but excelled in tests and was sidelined after only a couple of failures.

  24. Q said...

    Scorps If I want to play for the ICL I will contact Moin Khan - e is the ICL agent for Pakistan players. And if u want to play for them, u will have to approach one of the regional agents - I believe there is one for each region.


    On a more serious note, I see what you are saying. I think ICL can contribute in a big way if given the proper chance.

    The feeder for both the ICL and BCCI is Indian domestic cricket and there's no reason why the ICL can't help develop the game at the grassroots.

    They are still in their 2nd year and in order to survive for a longer term they would need to develop a system that provides them the players.

    All I'm asking for is to give them a chance.

  25. Q said...

    Damith, I believe they sipped their coffees and slipped away.. probably even less than 15 minutes.

  26. scorpicity said...

    Q... they didn't apparently even sipped their coffee :)... those Taj guys were disappointed that they used their place for free LOL.

    I am all for giving a chance for the ICL... All I need to hear is a good definition of what the ICL is.

    I do not want to hear some PR talk and activity from Kapil, seeing some sad woeful commercials on how TP singh regrets getting a chance to play for India... cheers

  27. Wasim said...

    Q and Scorpi,

    I think if ICC approves ICL's application for recognition it will automatically come under all the regulations enforced by ICC, it will also include the revenue sharing as ICC does with its other affiliates, once the revenue sharing will be in place the objection of not giving back to cricket will also be rectified to some extent.
    But the problem is that "EK MAYAAN MEIN DO TALWARIEN NAHIN REH SAKTI.'
    BCCI and ICL can't co-exist with each other,its partly because of the monopolistic attitude of all the boards and partly because of which organisation will represent India in the event ICL is also approved. I am sure there can be a middle ground where everybody gets what they want,the rights of BCCI are protected and ICL gets recognition and also gets regulated and should pay for the development of cricket in terms of revenue sharing and affiliation fees etc,as far as profiteering is concerned both BCCI and ICL are pvt concerns and all these boards and ICC make huge profits and ICL wants to share some of the market share so I don't think any party holds a better moral ground because of its not for profit activities.Cricket is a commercial game and all the boards and ICC run it like a business.
    I think ICL is going to thrive with or without approval, we can all see the stadiums are full in each and every game, the mainstream cricket will continue to get hurt in terms of players exodus and lost revenue if this conflict continued for a long time.

  28. Q said...

    Wasim u make valid points. I believe what the BCCI and ICL need to do is try and co-exist. As for the ICC, I think they are not the solution. The solution might be an alternative governing body. Let the ICC govern the nations and form another body that governs the 20-20 leagues under which the IPL, ICL, Stanford, and every other 20-20 league that is set up by a private investor, some givernment, or national board.. have them run separately and let their governing body help these franchises / clubs develop.

    Both can run in parallel and one country can have more than 1 league run by different people.

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