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Greig has Twenty20 vision

Thirty years after he helped Kerry Packer set up World Series Cricket, Tony Greig is up to his old tricks.

The 60-year-old former England Test captain and long-serving Channel Nine commentator has signed up as recruiting agent for a breakaway private cricket venture in India.

And the first players in his sights are retired superstars Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brian Lara.

Greig and former Australian batsman Dean Jones will join Kapil Dev and Kiran More on the board of the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The league is the brainchild of Indian television mogul Subhash Chandra, owner of India's biggest listed media company Zee Telefilms.

He wants to set up a domestic Twenty20 League of an initial six teams in large Indian cities, with big-name international players on their books alongside promising young Indian cricketers.

Jones has been appointed operations manager for the new venture, which has yet to be approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but hopes to play its first matches in November.

Greig believes the league is a goer because, unlike World Series Cricket, it will not compete directly with establishment matches.

In addition, Chandra is an existing business partner of BCCI and a close associate of senior board members.

But if there is a fight, Greig is prepared for it.

"It won't be the first," he said.

South African-born Greig was sacked as England captain for his role in recruiting the cream of international Test players for Kerry Packer in 1977.

"That's probably why they came to me, I suppose, because I've had some experience in this before. I'd like to think it wasn't going to be quite as hectic as the last one.

"But who knows? That's really up to Subhash Chandra and the Indian board in the initial stages. I don't particularly think they want a fight with this bloke."

One thing Greig is clear on is that the new operation won't cut into his commitment to Channel Nine, where James Packer is believed to have endorsed his late father's guarantee of a job for as long as Greig wants it.

Greig said his contract with Nine was a private matter but he had no intention of standing down after nearly 30 years behind the Nine microphone.

"You'll have to put up with me for a while yet," he said.

"My first loyalty will always be to Channel Nine."

source - news.com.au
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