ZEE Network today announced the formation of a new cricket series, which will be known as the Indian Cricket League.

Group Chairman Subhash Chandra said, “It is not in conflict with the BCCI but is complementary to it.” Chandra said the league will have an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore and each of the six teams would be coached by an ex-India player.

The league, to be held annually, would have its own contracted Indian and international players, apart from a paid selection committee. The league will start with the Twenty20 format, keeping in mind the World Cup of this new version in South Africa later this year.

Six teams will participate in this year`s league, which would start any time between July and August. The number of teams would be extended to 16 in the coming three years.

Each team would comprise of two national, four international and eight budding players, who would be selected by the talent scouts.

The matches will be played both in the ODI and Twenty20 formats with teams playing on a home and away basis.

The league will be supported by cricketing academies across the country having state-of-the-art facilities headed by international and domestic coaches.

“The country where cricket is followed like a religion fares so poorly,” Chandra said pointing at the World Cup disaster.

Chandra claimed 40 percent of Indian viewers had lost interest in cricket after team India`s world cup debacle and said if corporate support to the game ceased, it would create a crisis for the game worldwide.

“After all, India pool in major chunk of the money in international cricket,” he said.

BCCI reacts

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) today said it will take an appropriate decision on the letter from ZEE Network, seeking permission to start a parallel league.

“The president, BCCI, Sharad Pawar has received a letter from Mr Subhash Chandra, ZEE Television, seeking permission to start the Indian Cricket League. An appropriate decision in this matter will be taken by the board,” BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said in a media release.