With the news of Essel group head Subhash Chandra and Lalit Modi joining hands to create a parallel international cricket body, there have been questions coming to the fore again and again about the venture. The ICC certainly does look a little worried albeit they say that it is not a big issue. “World Cricket is what is today thorough years of evolution. It is not going to be easy to replicate it”, said an ICC official.
To be very honest, this statement is totally valid. To emulate or replicate what the ICC is today, will be a herculean task if not an impossible one. Establishing a rebel body, especially in an opposing environment is never going to be easy. The Indian Cricket League was certainly a great idea and was doing pretty well. It gave a chance to a lot of young cricketers to show their strut at the big stage. But the only reason it failed was that it was rebellious. Nothing that is illegal will ever work well in the longer run. This is what happened with the now-defunct ICL and something similar could be on the cards for the Essel led rebel Cricket Body (if formed).
The defenders might say that Kerry Packer’s World Series was a success despite being against the laws. But then it would be totally unfair to compare the World Series with this initiative. The various factors which today, ensure that a rebel body will fail were earlier actually in favor of Packer back then. Firstly, in the 1970s, the cricketers were underpaid and hence they joined the World Series. But today even if a rebel body comes to the fore, it will have little or no success. The ICC is already offering a lot of money and the BCCI is ensuring the same through IPL and Champions league. Secondly, Packer was a renowned man with a lot of trust in the business; this is not the case with Lalit Modi. So young players will definitely think twice before joining this body. Third factor is that Packer had his own broadcasting company in Australia. The Essel Group too has a broadcaster but if the test playing nations withdraw their media partnership after being asked by ICC, they could suffer huge losses. Lastly, establishing a gigantic venture of this sort is always going to be big task, which a handful of people cannot achieve alone.
Well, this is just a comparison between the former and the current scenario. It is important to know that Packer just launched a tournament and not an entirely big parallel body.