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Newcomers have taken ICL by storm

The second edition of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) got off to a rousing start with some very closely contested matches and the quality of cricket at the highest level.

It's heartening to see that all the players are giving their 100 per cent from the early stage of the tournament and I am sure the intensity will only rise as we go further.

But the biggest success story of the first leg has been the two newcomers Lahore Badshahs and Ahmedabad Rockets. The two teams were added to the ICL roster for this edition and they have taken the tournament by storm.

The Damien Martyn-led Ahmedabad side proved that they won't be pushovers on the very first day of the tournament when they outplayed last edition finalists Chandigarh Lions and the Badshahs and went a step ahead.

The team playing under former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has a distinct advantage when it comes to the understanding between players. Most of them have played alongside each other on the international stage and even in the domestic cricket and the advantages are there for everyone to see.

Though it's difficult to predict anything in a Twenty20 competition, for me the Lahore Badshahs are the team to beat in the tournament.

The success of the new entrants also augurs well for the tournament since it shows that there is enough talent available and if given a chance they can prove their mettle. The addition of two teams has meant that another 30-odd players have got the opportunity to showcase their skills and also provided them with the much-needed financial security that any domestic player needs.

The one most heartening thing about the ICL is that it is been run by former cricketers who have been involved in the game for years and know the needs and difficulties of the players. I am sure that every year they will look to add more and more teams in the competition and that would be the best way to serve the game by giving more and more people the opportunity to excel.

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