Sunday, July 08, 2007

Zee.. ing is believing: Chandra's letter to the BCCI

New Delhi
If Mahatama Gandhi conducted experminets with truth and told the world about it, Zee TV mogul Subhash Chandra has revealed that he too is following in the footsteps of Mahatma.
Chandra has revealed his intent to hold experiments with Indian cricket.
Chandra, in his own words, wants to use India as 'the laboratory to innovate new methods of cricket' through his Indian Cricket League (ICL) - a copycat attempt of what Australian media merchant Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket (WSC) that shook the cricket world in the late 1970s.
In a letter to Sharad Pawar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Chandra said the ICL, to be launched in October, would be based on a new "vision-cum-action model", which was actually a "3-D approach - diligence, discovery and display.
Let's hear out Chandra.
"The idea is also to develop India, a leading cricketing nation, as the laboratory to innovate new models of cricket so that we set the agenda for innovation for others to follow," Chandra wrote in a three-page letter to Pawar faxed April 3, the day he announced the formation of ICL under the Essel group banner.
"The Essel initiative on cricket involves a 3-D approach that integrates the vision and action on diligence, discovery and display," Chandra wrote in the letter, a copy of which is with IANS.Chandra said he plans to innovate, unearth talent and transform "midgets" into mature, mentally strong and confident players. Since the announcement, ICL has roped in former India captain Kapil Dev, former players Kiran More and Sandeep Patil, former England skipper Tony Greig and ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones to either conduct the tournament or coach some of the six teams. The matches will be 20 overs per side.
The winner in the first tournament will receive $1 million. The matches will be telecast on Zee's in-house Zee Sports channel. Each team will have two players from India and four from abroad.The only step that the BCCI has apparently taken so far is to write to its affiliated units to warn their players and umpires not to associate themselves with ICL and not to lend their infrastructure.
Zee is, however, going ahead with its preparations. Outlining the aims of ICL, Chandra said he would go for "meticulous and out-of-the-box approach to the game to raise its standards, which involves creation of international standard infrastructure".
He plans to tap talent "with the aid of modern technological and communication tools" and provide them financial assistance.Besides, providing "encouragement to the deprived but deserving" players, Chandra wants to "build a transparent national directory of cricketing talent which cricket lovers can view by clicking on the network."This will also include a certain element of character-building through meditation and yoga models that will enable them to withstand and digest the pressures of popularity and prosperity that overawe the young cricketers before they mature into greats," he wrote.
The Zee boss admitted that the "establishment-directed approach to cricket" is "best suited" and that the national board "is the only way to make cricket competition between national teams work". But at the same time, the history of modern cricket shows that innovations have taken place mostly outside the establishment approach, he held. "In my understanding, their constraints rob the cricket establishments of the flexibility needed to adopt a new vision-cum-action model like the 3-D approach."
Chandra also said ICL would "build a national pool of cricket talent that is transparently captured on a national cricketing talent register" from which BCCI and state teams could pick players for their teams. "I assure you that Essel group conceives this as a genuine effort to fill gaps in the present establishment-directed and establishment-managed approach to cricket and will be wholly supportive of the BCCI...," he wrote.

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