|Posted by anccricket on June 30, 2011 at 6:45 AM|
The IPL has been granted an unofficial window in the FTP by the ICC.The IPL may have won half the battle with the ICC and thereby, quelled the storm with a few of the boards. But it may have spawned others as the ICC has virtually agreed to an unofficial window for India’s domestic Twenty20 tournament.
While the Indian Premier League has not been given a clear or official window, it has been granted what can be best described as an unofficial leeway in the international cricket calendar and Future Tours Programme 2012-2020. The IPL, staging during the Indian summer, has seen several clashes between players and boards regarding the timing of coinciding with bilateral series which make it pertinent for the players to show up in their national colours and yet rob them of a lifetime of an opportunity to create a secure financial corpus by participating in the IPL.
While having a specific window in the calendar for the IPL was considered imperative from the perspective that it would alleviate some of these club versus country debates being generated, there was also the contention within the ICC that granting the IPL a window would set a trend for the other cricket boards to then queue up demanding a similar time frame in which to expand their commercial interests from their respective domestic Twenty20 formats. In that light, there has been some consternation in circles that perhaps granting that window would precipitate a crisis of sorts for Test cricket with the Twenty20 format being given precedence, a concern that is being raised in Australia.
Given that the IPL has become a predominantly commercial venture under the disguise of unearthing domestic talent, the decision to grant a window was also said to be prompted by those involved directly or indirectly to getting a slice of the pie. With not many cricket purists of the opinion that the Twenty20 was merely a means to its own end and not really enhancing the sport at its most pristine level, Test cricket, the thought to give the IPL a window was slammed. Amongst some of the voices that have played the sport included Tony Grieg and Arjuna Ranatunga amongst others. While other cricket boards are now trialling their Twenty20 tournaments on the lines of IPL, realizing the kind of money that could be on offer if the prospects can be worked out, although none of them can yet match the strength of the IPL, there could well be a time when the ICC may have to revise those agendas yet again.
However, perhaps with the intent to assuage some of the issues that have cropped up between boards and players as a result of the conflict that results from the overlapped schedules, the ICC, without officially giving its blessing, has sought to reduce the tour commitments for teams during that time period and ensure that more players are free to seek employment in the IPL without fear of being thwarted by the bilateral series obligations of the board. The Champions League Twenty20 has been granted a direct two week window in the month of September while the ICC has left the months of April and May light for most cricket teams in the FTP – Future Tours Programme. How well this would actually work out will be on trial when the IPL 5 begins.