Before the start of Indian Premier League (IPL), there was another league in India named Indian Cricket League but BCCI did not approve it. Many people feel that IPL came in response to ICL.
Image Credit source: IPL photo
New Delhi: The world’s richest and most famous league of cricket – Indian Premier League ie IPL The 15th season is starting from 31st March. During this, the eyes of the entire cricket world will be on this league. IPL has become that league in which every cricketer of this world wants to play. But do you know how this league started. Whose brainchild was this league and how all the frills were gathered for IPL. It is known to all that the first season of the league was played in 2008 and Lalit Modi, the then vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, started this league, but the story is much more than that.
Before IPL, another cricket league started in India. The name of this league was Indian Cricket League ie ICL. Although the BCCI did not give its approval to this league and that is why it was called rebel league. The players who participated in this league were banned by the BCCI. After this IPL came and it is said that it was the answer to ISL. Meanwhile, India had won the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and it was also said that after this the plan for IPL came to mind.
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very early idea
But this is not the complete truth. Lalit Modi, the first commissioner of the league and former vice-president of BCCI, had planned such a league long back. Lalit Modi had thought of starting such a league in 1996 itself. At that time he was the owner of Modi Entertainment Network and his company formed a joint venture with ESPN. The BCCI had sold the rights of the matches of the Indian team to ESPN. At the same time, Lalit Modi planned to organize a professional league and this idea came to him after understanding American professional sports. Modi decided to make his dream come true in 1996 and thought of organizing a city based league named Indian Cricket League. He thought that the team would be sold as a franchise and ESPN would broadcast its matches. Along with this, royalty will be given annually to the BCCI.
The BCCI gave its approval to this league and also agreed to use its players and grounds. After this, Modi spent a lot of money to include the players, but at that time a BCCI official asked Modi for a bribe and Modi refused to give it. With this, Modi’s dream also got shattered. The Quint has told in one of its reports that Modi had said all these things at the Columbia Business School.
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relaunched in 2007
By 2007, cricket had changed a lot and T20 format had established its supremacy. Here Modi again thought about making his dream come true and this time he thought of organizing T20 league. Modi was the vice-president of the BCCI at that time. To make his dream come true, he went to England and met Andrew Wildblood, the then Vice President of IMG World. Both of them talked about India’s domestic tournaments and how to make IPL successful in the presence of all these.
BCCI gave the green signal
Modi was waiting for approval from the BCCI and on 10 September 2007, the then BCCI President Sharad Pawar gave Modi a check of 25 million dollars i.e. about two crore 50 lakh Indian rupees for organizing the league. This money was given so that he could buy players for IPL. Two days later i.e. on 12 September, Modi launched the IPL. Modi talked to the players during the T20 World Cup in 2007 and told them about the amount and facilities they would get in this league. After this the players agreed to join the league.
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meeting with different boards
Foreign players were also to play in this league and in such a situation Modi Knew that foreign boards would have to agree so that they give NOC to their players to play in IPL. Modi talked to the cricket boards of different countries and persuaded them. All the boards agreed but the England and Wales Cricket Board did not agree, but still Modi started the league and in the first season players from Pakistan were also seen playing. Franchises were bid in this league, in which Munkesh Ambani bought Mumbai, Shah Rukh Khan Kolkata, Preity Zinta Punjab, Vijay Mallya Bangalore, Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty Rajasthan, media house Deccan Chronicle bought Hyderabad franchise. Earlier this league used to be a league of eight teams. Last year the number of teams in this league was increased and it was made 10.