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Posts Tagged ‘lalit modi’

This ICL versus IPL business, which should by now have surely been laid to rest, rumbles on. Should the Northamptonshire Steelbacks beat Sussex in their Twenty20 Cup semi-final on Saturday, they would normally have been expected to fill one of England’s spots in the Twenty20 Champions League (or the Champions League T20, or the Champions Twenty20 League, or whatever), but the inclusion in their squad of Nicky Boje, Andrew Hall and Johan van der Wath means that Lalit Modi won’t let them play.

Boje, Hall and van der Wath are all ‘tainted’ by their association with the ICL, which is viewed by the BCCI as ‘unauthorised cricket’. “Champions League rules are very clear that no team with players connected to any unauthorised cricket can be a part of it,” said Modi, possibly whilst stroking a cat and plotting world domination.

‘Unauthorised cricket’ makes it sound a bit like the trio had been skipping school to hone their forward defensives, or carelessly practising their in-swingers in an area containing a ‘No Ball Games‘ sign.

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The second season of the IPL will not be played in India.

England and South Africa have emerged as the most likely to step in as temporary hosts. With less than 20 days until the competition is set to start (and with Lalit Modi insisting the schedule will be kept), there’s not much time to make arrangements. Presumably England would be preferable for the ready-made Anglo-Indian fanbase, but the impending county season could cause logistical difficulties.

There will undoubtedly be further details emerging soon, but speculation is sure to be rife until fixtures are finalised. What impact this will have on the involvement of certain players from potential host countries, whether the pre-existing sponsorship deals will cause any issues, and what this means for the future of the IPL are just three questions already being raised.

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It’s often said that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future results, but India’s destruction of England in the first ODI was very much a case of two sides continuing their recent form. India swaggered to their best ever total against a ‘big’ nation, and England collapsed to their third humiliation in a fortnight. Perhaps the tourists are a little distracted by recent events, or by their upcoming meeting with Lalit Modi.

India’s innings (youtube here) was staggering. Scoring 387 runs from 50 overs shouldn’t be possible when a side has been put in (how is Kevin Pietersen feeling about that decision now, I wonder?), and the manner of Yuvraj Singh‘s 138 from 78 balls was little short of superhuman (or perhaps just regal).

England, in response, capitulated, with the notable exceptions of Pietersen and Ravi Bopara.

There are another six of these One Day matches to go, you know.

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Jonathan Agnew writes that “India would probably refuse to play against England with [Chris] Read in the team” because he has played in the ICL. This means, of course, that he may have caught the deadly ICL virus, and could therefore, in the eyes of the BCCI, reduce the world’s second most populous country to something out of 28 Weeks Later.

With Tim Ambrose looking increasingly like he won’t be playing in England’s next Test, which will of course be in India, this could cause political pressure on team selection in a way reminiscent of the Basil D’Oliveira affair. This time, though, Lalit Modi’s commercial self-interest would replace the National Party’s racism as the elephant in the room.

Whilst Read wouldn’t necessarily be an automatic replacement for Ambrose, he has been the most successful (in purely statistical terms) of England’s succession of attempted replacements for the mighty Alec Stewart. Matt Prior has been selected for the One Day squad, but if he doesn’t impress, Read might well be in pole position for selection.

If that happens, we will see whether the BCCI really does wield as much power within international cricket as is often suggested.

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With the Twenty20 Cup having reached the Quarter-Final stage, the remaining eight sides are only three matches away from the riches of the inaugural Twenty20 Champions’ League (providing, of course, they don’t field any players from the ICL, and aren’t replaced by teams from Pakistan).

  • Durham, before this year’s tournament began, had won fewer games of Twenty20 than any other county (a mere 8), but Shaun Pollock’s economy rate has been consistently low, and even a certain, currently banned player has turned out for the now-quite-well-named Dynamos, taking 5-14 against Derbyshire. Add to that the fact that runs are being contributed from a variety of sources, and Durham look like genuine contenders.
  • Lancashire have always been quite good at twenty20, so it’s no surprise that the Lemurs have made it to this stage. Lou Vincent and Mal Loye have been scoring plenty of runs, whilst Mahmood and Marshall have been taking wickets. I’d like to think they can win the whole thing (preferably with Freddie bowling some overs and scoring some runs in the final).
  • Middlesex’s record in the Twenty20 Cup was, like Durham’s, pretty poor before the start of this year’s competition, but they’ve been making up for it this year, mainly due to an improvement in their bowling. They have no ICL players, so they could actually compete in the Champions’ League with their current team, which is a plus. Also, they have Dirty Dirk Nannes.
  • Northamptonshire, unlike Middlesex, have loads of ICL players, so will probably not be Lalit Modi‘s favourites. I wouldn’t have picked them to make it this far, to be truthful, but Rob White has made plenty of runs and numerous others have put in good performances at crucial times to put the Steelbacks into the last eight. Given that they’ve surprised me so far, I’m not going to write them off at this stage.
  • Warwickshire haven’t made too many runs – they have only once scored above 160. Despite this, they’ve lost none, had a tie (ooh, a tie) and two matches which ended in no result, which means that their bowlers must be doing something right. Of those bowlers, Salisbury and Botha have been the pick, taking wickets and going for not many runs at all. All in all, the King of Spain‘s men definitely have the pedigree to make the finals day.
  • Yorkshire are strong contenders for the overall win. Adil Rashid has got a lot of people excited, and his 4-24 last night was proof that he can perform on the big occasion. Anthony McGrath, meanwhile, has scored more runs than anyone else in the competition. In addition, there’s always Dazzler to spice things up a bit.

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