The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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League idea dates back to ’90s

Calcutta: It’s somewhat ironical that Lalit Modi is one of those to decide on whether Subhas Chandra should be allowed to launch the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Ironical because back in the late 1990s, when he wasn’t a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president, Modi himself sought to be part of a private inter-city league!

“Mr Modi’s company was to run the show, while the late Madhav Rao Scindia got his association (Madhya Pradesh) to place the proposal before the BCCI… However, things didn’t work out,” former India opener Arun Lal told The Telegraph.

Lal was one of those closely involved with the planning.

Fingers are still pointed at one-time supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya for scuttling that proposal, but a confidant clarified he wasn’t an office-bearer in 1998/1999.

Dalmiya was then the International Cricket Council president, though.

Nobody may go on record, but key Indian players had even been paid a signing amount and negotiations were on with the Arjuna Ranatungas and Inzamam-ul Haqs.

“Initially, the plan was to involve six cities… The telecast rights for the limited overs matches were being finalised and industrial houses had been sounded out for sponsorship… But then…” Lal added.

Commenting on the Chandra development, he said: “It’s exciting… The way forward for Indian cricket is to lift the domestic action… If the ICL is to be run like a tournament, then I don’t see why there’s going to be a confrontation with the BCCI.”

Lal, incidentally, revealed even the inter-city league was to be called Indian Cricket League!

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