Players eyeing big league
WEST INDIAN cricketers are lining up in numbers to cash in on the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
Under a new procedure to qualify for the glitzy extravaganza, players must now formally submit an expression of interest through their governing body to be considered by any of the eight franchises.
The deadline for indicating an interest closed on Tuesday and following enquiries from WEEKENDSPORT yesterday, the WICB revealed that close to 50 Caribbean cricketers had requested that their names be put forward for the IPL auction register for the tournaments from 2011 to 2013.
While the WICB opted not to release names at this stage, it is understood the list of West Indian cricketers submitting an interest included several seasoned players in addition to a few who had not yet even represented their senior team at regional level.
During the first three IPL tournaments from 2008 to 2010, ten West Indians were secured by IPL franchises and the current level of interest is not surprising given the attractive remuneration.
“The players have nothing to lose. A player might not be well known but could have been spotted by scouts at some time and could have created an impression,” a well-placed source said.
“This is a competition that has the blessing of the ICC and everyone should be encouraged to give it a shot.”
During the first year of the tournament, the then West Indies captain Chris Gayle was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders for US$800 000,while last year, big-hitting Kieron Pollard fetched US$750 000 from the Mumbai Indians and exciting fast bowler Kemar Roach attracted a price of US$720 000 from Deccan Chargers.
Other West Indians appearing in the IPL were Dwayne Bravo (Mumbai Indians), Dwayne Smith (Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers), Fidel Edwards (Deccan Chargers), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Kings XI Punjab), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Adrian Barath (Kings XI Punjab).
Jerome Taylor had been secured by Kings XI Punjab but was unable to take part due to injury.
On receiving the names of the players who have submitted an expression of interest for the next three tournaments, the WICB created a register and forwarded the list to the IPL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The BCCI/IPL will then enter the names into the IPL auction register and send to the respective IPL franchises.
Each franchise will select the players they would like to be entered into the auction after which the BCCI/IPL will then notify the WICB of all West Indian players selected and the WICB will notify those players.
The BCCI/IPL will send all agreements to the WICB and the WICB will bear sole responsibility for issuing these to the players for their review and acceptance or otherwise.
Since its inception, the IPL has been a hugely popular Twenty20 tournament among players and fans.
Last year, the IPL’s brand value was estimated to be more than US$4 billion and it is believed to be the second highest-paid sports league, based on first-team salaries on a pro rata basis, second only to the NBA.