Stage is set for the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) Twenty20 tournament to take off from November 30 in Chandigarh with a host of former international stars promising to add spice to the rebel series.
The tournament, which is spread over two weeks, will have Delhi Jets taking on Chandigarh Lions in the inaugural match at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula.
Besides these two teams, Mumbai Champs will be led by legendary Brian Lara while other teams Kolkata Tigers, Chennai Superstars and Hyderabad Heroes will be vying for a place in the semi finals of the tournament, which will have a round-robin format.
Apart from Lara, the other top players to watch out for will be former Sri Lankan skipper Marvan Atapattu, who will be captaining the Delhi Jets team, former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle, Chris Harris, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Dinesh Mongia, Lance Klusener, Imran Farhat, Nicky Boje, Vikram Solanki, Paul Nixon, Hamish Marshall, Andrew Hall and Daryl Tuffey.
There are a host of domestic cricket stars as well which will form part of each team along with the former international ones. The teams would be reaching here tomorrow after taking part in several practice matches at different venues.
Final touches are being given to around 7,000 capacity stadium in Haryana's Panchkula, where flood lights are being installed for the mega event.
Though tickets for the event have been moderately priced at Rs 100 for a single match and Rs 150 for two matches on the same day, the response from the fans has been lukewarm.
ICL Executive Board chairman Kapil Dev said, "we are keeping our fingers crossed. At the moment, we are excited and nervous. ICL is our baby and we are hoping everything goes off well."
A concern at the stadium would be the outfield, which tends to be a bit slow, but Kapil said everything will be
taken care of before the tournament starts.
The pavillion building is being upgraded to include individual lockers and dressing room for players, umpires and match officials while a hi-tech broadcast studio is also being readied.
ICL, an Essel Group venture, has taken the stadium on a 10-year lease from the Haryana Government. Executive Vice president of the Essel (Zee) Group, Ashish Kaul said in addition to the live broadcast of the tournament on Zee Sports, they would also try to have live feed on regional channels owned by the media conglomerate.
The event will have commentators like Tony Greig, Dean Jones, Pat Symcox, Jeffery Thomson, Mike Whitney and Ayaz Memon.