Monday, March 10, 2008

ICL ups prize money, matches IPL

To keep interest levels alive and compete with the star and money power of rival Indian Premier League (IPL), the Subhash Chandra-promoted Indian Cricket League (ICL) has matched the prize money of IPL for its next tournament.

ICL will pay a prize money of $3.08 million (Rs 12.33 crore) for 'Edelweiss 20s Challenge', matching the $3 million (Rs 12 crore) offered by IPL.

The second edition of the ICL tournament kicks-off on Tuesday at Panchkula, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. Chandra has also increased the stakes. The winning team stands to pocket Rs 2.5 crore (Rs 25 million), an increase of Rs 50 lakh from the last time.

There are two new teams including an all-Pakistani outfit, Lahore Badshahs, and many new international stars including fast bowler Shane Bond.

The runners-up would pocket Rs 1.25 crore (Rs 12.5 million) while the team finishing third would get Rs 50 lakh, said Kiran More, ICL executive board member, in Chandigarh.

Teams winning games at the league stage will get Rs 25 lakh, resulting in a total prize money of Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million) at the league stage. Each winner of the Man of the Match prize will get Rs 2 lakh in 34 matches, while the Man of the Series gets Rs 40 lakh.

''Prize Money works better as powerful influence when players are participating individually, in sports like tennis or golf. In cricket, it's about the players you have got,''
said Ravi Kiran, Starcom MediaVest CEO for south Asia.

''The message one gets is that Subhash Chandra's Essel Group is committed to continue pushing ICL as its flagship sports product,''
added Kiran.

Incidentally, the inaugural ICL tournament last year had higher prize money of Rs 15 crore (Rs 15 million).

Besides Shane Bond, ICL has signed on Damien Martyn, who will lead the other new team, the Ahmedabad Rockets, and a couple of batsmen with big-hitting ability � Justin Kemp and Lou Vincent.

Besides the four, there are 20 other new overseas players in this year's tournament, including the 37-year-old Adam Parore, who has returned to the game after six years of retirement.

With multiple venues, additional teams, and good prize money, Chandra is hoping to score a few brownie points before the rival league IPL kicks off in April.

No comments: