Legendry cricket batsman Brian Lara has been selected for ZEE Network’s Indian Cricket League (ICL), which kicks off later this year.

Lara is the first major signing for the league after the earlier announcement that Kapid Dev will become its Chairman.

“It gives me great pleasure to join the Indian Cricket League. You can`t keep me too far from cricket and hence I return to the game in this exciting new avatar that the Essel Group has launched,” Lara said in a statement issued by the Essel Group.

“I look forward to playing with promising youngsters from India and elsewhere along with some of my illustrious international counterparts who I`ve shared many an exciting moment with on the field.

“I feel honored to captain one of the ICL`s city teams, and hope to use my experience in taking that team to victory in the inaugural ICL Trophy.”

Announcing the signings, Himanshu Mody, Project Head for the ICL said, “we are extremely honored to welcome Brian Lara to the ICL family.

“Undoubtedly one of the greatest ever batsmen that the world has seen, he brings his immense talent and experience to the ICL.

“I think the youngsters we are grooming for India`s future will benefit immensely from playing alongside him in the ICL.”

On Lal`s and Sandhu`s role, Mody said, “Lal brings with him years of experience … I am sure that under his tutelage, the Delhi team will produce future stars that will shine bright in Indian cricket.

“Sandhu with his wealth of coaching youngsters at every level will ensure the right talent gets channelled into the system and is then given the right coaching and training.”

Lal was excited about his appointment.

“I am extremely happy to become a part of the ICL. In the past I have played under Kapil Dev in the team of 1983 which had passion and pride.

“In the role of a coach in the ICL, I propose to inculcate character in the team and create a brand of cricket which possesses killer instinct.”

Sandhu said, “I endorse the structure and the system of the ICL. In the past I have been the head coach at the NCA and have been the coach for the U-19 team, both of which will stand me in good stead in performing my duties.”

The league has also contracted former Indian allrounder Madan Lal to coach its Delhi team and Balwinder Singh Sandhu as director of academies.