|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Indian Cricket League signs Lara
July 23, 2007 19:07 IST
Last Updated: July 23, 2007 19:40 IST
The former West Indies captain is the first high profile overseas cricketer to join the parallel Indian league, which is not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India or International Cricket Council. He will lead one of the teams in the league.
Also signed up for the Essel Group's breakaway venture are former India players Madan Lal and Balwinder Singh Sandhu. While the former will be coach of the League's Delhi team, Sandhu has been contracted as Director of Academies.
Former players Rajesh Chauhan and Pranob Roy, who also served as BCCI selector, were roped in as 'Talent Scouts'.
The ICL had earlier announced the signing of India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev [Images] as its chairman apart from former chairman of selectors Kiran More, former India coach Sandeep Patil, Australia's Dean Jones and former England [Images] captain Tony Greg on its board.
But Lara is the first big name to be signed as player for the league, launched by Zee group boss Subhas Chandra launched in April.
"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 of 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 channeled 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 Under-19 team, both of which will stand me in good stead in performing my duties."