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Subhash Chandra, the of head Essel Group, is back in cricket with another league. This time around though he has a plan not just to capture the Indian audience but turn cricket into a global sport.
Chandra plans on taking cricket global, by setting up a completely new organisation that would operate outside the jurisdiction of the ICC.
An official press release from Essel Group states, Chandra’s dream is to take cricket beyond its traditional Commonwealth base, meaning countries such as China and the USA could be targeted.
Recent reports from around the cricketing world suggest that new Bodies have been registered in different country, the recent being 'Australian Cricket Control Pty Ltd'.
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Around 249 website domains have been registered around the world to “cover countries and associations that could be affiliated to the new governing body.”
Chandra finds inspiration from Kerry Packer in forming a new global Twenty20 league that hopes to usurp the Indian Premier League.
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“Essel Group is now geared up to enter the sports business at a global level, focusing on Cricket, since it has been limited to Commonwealth countries,” the press release said. “Our research reflects that there is an immense opportunity to make it a global sport.
Chandra plans looks to compete with the International Cricket Council.
Australian Captain Michael Clarke and star opener David Warner are prime targets for the rebel league and could be offered $50 million contracts, both players could be offered 10-year contracts to join the league.
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This is not the first time Subhash Chandra is involved with a rebel league, the now defunct ICL was formed amid huge speculation and hype with some high profile marquee signings, but failed to live up to the expectations with the arrival of IPL and the BCCI banning ICL contracted players.
The ICL was also accused of corruption and match-fixing, several players are still waiting to be paid.
The biggest concern for the new rebel league will be to find marquee players and stadiums.
Even though the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations looks to be in favour of the rebel league, it is highly unlikely Chandra will be able to bag any high-profile players.
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ICC and BCCI have already made their stance clear on the rebel league, any player who signs for a league that is not recognized by the ICC is banned from domestic and international cricket.
The BCCI will not let the rebels to use its stadiums, and the rebels will have to work with second grade stadiums.
With the Indian audiences calendar already jam packed with the IPL and International cricket, it is not hard to imagine how this rebel outfit will manage to capture any interest from the loyal Indian cricket fans.
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The league might not take-off but it will be a win-win situation for the youth and domestic players, the rebels will look to bring in talent and the BCCI will try to hold and retain their talent.
The US and China market that Chandra is planning to capitalize, no doubt are huge markets but with minimal to non-existent cricket culture.
And to create market for an alien sport in an established market will take long, and seeing that ICC and BCCI will not leave any stone unturned to make the rebel league a failure, it is highly unlikely that Chandra will succeed without any Big-names and stars to boost of.
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