T20 cricket has become a rage in most parts of the world, ever since the first T20 World Cup was played in South Africa. But this mini format of the game has received monumental acceptance within India. The widespread popularity for T20 cricket led to the development of International tournaments like the Challenger Series, which is held in the country.
But nothing comes close to the success achieved by the Indian Premier better than known as IPL. Although it faced some competition from a similar nationwide T20 tournament named Indian Cricket League or ICL, the latter could not really match up to the standards of the IPL, both in terms of grandeur and popularity.
The emergence of ICL alongside with the existing IPL created a lot of talks in and around the cricketing fraternity. But unfortunately the Indian Cricket League failed to compete with the IPL for a number of reasons.
One of the first reasons behind ICL’s downfall was the BCCI’s attitude to this tournament. The Board of Cricket Council of India that pretty much oversees all cricketing events in the country clearly declared the ICL as a rebel board.
The Cricket Board even issued a decree stating any Indian player taking part in this rebel T20 tournament would lose the chance to play for their national sides. ICL players would be even restricted from taking part in noteworthy tournaments like the Challenger’s Trophy, IPL etc. As a result most of the young talents of the country preferred to stay away from the rebel tournament, i.e. ICL. The BCCI even asked International Boards to follow their trail in restricting their cricketers from being part of the ICL.
While most Cricketing boards followed this, the English Cricket Board allowed its players to play in both competitions. This is why most teams of the ICL had retired professionals like Brian Lara, Chris Cairns, Inzamam Ul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed etc. Kapil Dev, the legendary paceman for India and the founder of ICL was very upset with the BCCI’s decision.
The IPL has some of the brightest stars of the Indian cricket team, which included Little Master Sachin Tendulkar,Saurav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid etc. On the flipside most of ICL teams had some lesser known young talents. Therefore, it is only natural that the Indian Premier League enjoyed more viewership compared to its rival Indian Cricket League.