BCCI game for weekend Twenty20
It may be the latest kid on the block for BCCI, but the board wants to give it an attitude quite its own.
Plans for a Twenty20 domestic league are already on the drawing board and if BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi has his way, the league - likely to start in April next year - will have the unmistakable imprint of the hugely popular English football Premiership.
According to Modi, BCCI will ask all 27 state associations to form Twenty20 teams. Each team will be allowed to hire four foreign players. ‘‘Like the Premiership, our Twenty20 league will create team rivalries to generate interest. We would ask all associations to install floodlights as the matches will be played only in the evening,’’ Modi told TOI.
He said matches would be held every week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There will be three back-to-back matches on all three evenings - from 3 to 6, 6 to 9, 9 to 12. ‘‘We are planning to create a carnival atmosphere,’’ he added. BCCI will sell in-stadia and TV rights for the matches while the jersey logo issue will be thrashed out separately with state units.
Even as many observers have raised doubts about the financial viability of a Twenty20 domestic league, Modi insisted it could generate substantial money - ‘‘as much as $50 million every year’’.
Rahul Dravid & Co are all set to see Twenty20 action. India’s first international match in this form of cricket will be on their tour of South Africa later this year. BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said, ‘‘There is a request for one match and it is more or less confirmed.”