|Chandra in New Delhi on Tuesday. (AFP)
April 3: Even as speculation on the Indians targeted by Subhas Chandra mounts, a well-placed source of The Telegraph has revealed that his agents have approached Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne for the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
“I understand two other Australians — Justin Langer and Michael Slater — have been sounded as well,” the source said late tonight.
While Test cricket’s No.1 wicket-taker Warne and Langer quit earlier this season, the peerless McGrath is going to retire at the end of the World Cup. Slater left the sport three years ago.
“Both McGrath and Warne have, apparently, asked for a huge sum… Warne is still contracted with Hampshire, but will be available during our winter,” the source added.
Chandra, one learns, is willing to meet any demand from the biggest names.
Much of the interest is, of course, going to be on the Indians. The ones most likely to be tempted are those in the December of their career.
“Chandra’s announcement has come at a time when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is talking tough on contracts, but it’s unlikely that those with a future will get anywhere close to signing up,” emphasised somebody in the know.
The sensational announcement, though, couldn’t have been made without a dialogue with at least the business managers of some players and a commitment of sorts from sponsors.
Frankly, nobody believes that the BCCI is going to grant permission and, so, it’s to be seen whether Chandra actually does a Packer.
Also whether he will have cricketers of the stature of Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Barry Richards and Imran Khan by his side.
Footnote: The buzz is that the BCCI may now draft the contracts afresh, incorporating a clause prohibiting any association with the ICL.