ZEE Network has signed up a handful of cricket legends for its newly announced cricket league.
For all those sceptics who wondered whether the Essel Group�۪s (ZEE) Subhash Chandra would be able to pull off a parallel cricket league, a line-up of players and a business plan is already in place.
Chandra is rumoured to have roped in legendary cricketers including Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Dean Jones and Navjot Singh Siddhu for the executive committee of its newly-formed India Cricket League (ICL).
These players will be a part of a pool of 65 ex-cricketers that has been drawn by the group to act as selectors and for talent scouting. The executive committee, which is to be ICL�۪s highest body, will manage the Rs 100 crore corpus being used to promote the league.
“ICL is also trying to work out a deal with current cricketers like Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar,” said a source.
Earlier, ZEE Network had lost out on the rights for all cricket matches, one-dayers as well as Tests, organised by BCCI in India up to 2011.
The group had launched ZEE Sports last year in anticipation of bagging the BCCI telecast rights and also acquired Dubai-based sports channel Ten Sports. But the BCCI rights went to Nimbus Communications.
The ICL will now give Chandra not only a platform to launch future cricket stars but also an exclusive television property for its cable and Direct-to-Home service.