Due to all the hoopla surrounding the BCCI/ICL/IPL controversy, I decided to check out the ICL games. I paid $10 to watch the games on the internet via Willow TV. I can tell you with great relief and confidence that the entire ICL set up and the games are no greater than the club games that I tend to dabble with in a place like Toronto. The ICL teams have age-old pensioners, losers, and very ordinary cricketers egged on in an artificial surroundings by big sounding names in the commentary team and coaching line-ups who are probably there more to ogle and flirt with the belly dancers from bollywood and the money that comes with it. The commentary team including tape recordings of Tony Greig and Dean Jones (I was reminded of a cricket video game that I used to play that had Richie Benaud’s background commentary that repeated itself), big time flirts like Mike Whitney and money grabbers like Barry Richards and Pat Symcox.
Now to the games themselves, boy were they ordinary! I was briefly impressed by a couple of Indian players like Abbas Ali, Thiru Kumaran, Mishra and S T Binny but only for fleeting moments. The imports clearly came for the money, yeah, there were big sixes by the likes of Cairns, Kemp et al but that’s not unusual for club cricket. My point of this is that I simply saw no reason why BCCI even feels threatened by this set up. I say that they should just let go, not ban these players (please don’t expect me to believe that somehow Thiru Kumaran is going to make it to an Indian lineup suddenly), and just plain ignore the whole set up. ICL is going to fold up and die a natural death once IPL takes over. There is simply no competition. As Bharath quoted sometime back, what was Lara thinking???
The ICl trivialities aside, I can’t wait for the test matches to begin once again. Hoping for a great beginning in Chennai and wishing for the weather to play good sport through the game. We need an uninterrupted supply of test cricket, something that has been rareity in Chennai these days!