Home > Sports News > ICL would be bigger hit than IPL: Cairns

ICL would be bigger hit than IPL: Cairns

Gurgaon : The BCCI-backed Indian Premier League may have the best of current players on its roster but the Indian Cricket League recruit Chris Cairns feels the so-called rebel venture would be a bigger hit with the fans as it has more local youngsters.

“The IPL will have a lot of current players and all of them are huge stars. But ICL has an edge because we have a local flavour to our sides, which makes it easier for the fans to connect with us,” the former New Zealand all-rounder said.

“We have a nice mix of youth and experience in all our teams. On one hand we have recently-retired megastars like (Brian) Lara and Inzamam-ul Haq, who can pull in crowds on any given day. And on the other, there are youngsters from within India, who will get an opportunity to showcase their talent,” he added.

Cairns said another factor which makes ICL more appealing to fans is that it would be the first of the two Twenty20 leagues to take off.

“IPL hasn’t even started and it will be some time before it happens. But we are getting started right away and being the first has its advantages because if everything goes off well and spectators enjoy our product, it will raise the bar for IPL. So as I see it, ICL is certainly bigger at the moment,” he explained.

The 37-year-old felt it was unfair to call ICL a rebel league.

“More than anybody else, I think its the media which is trying to build it up as a rebel series. I don’t agree with this description. Take for instance my case, How can you call me a rebel? I am not contracted to my country’s board any more, so no one has the right to stop me from coming here and playing,” he said.

“As for the boards threatening to ban players, it’s unfortunate. Playing in ICL does not make you ineligible for selection. Why can’t we treat it as just another opportunity to go and play cricket?” he asked.

On his own reasons to sign up with ICL, Cairns, who would be playing for Chandigarh Lions, said, “Playing here would help me stay in touch with the game that I love and which gave me so much. It’s an interesting format and I found the whole package quite appealing.”

“And it would be interesting to find out how I do against the younger lot,” he quipped.

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