Corporates bid for aspiring cricketers in Kashmir League

Srinagar, June 14 (ANI): Corporates from across the Kashmir Valley bid on Wednesday for budding cricketers for a sporting extravaganza, a local cricket league.

This is for the first time the corporate sector of Kashmir valley has come forward and is organising a cricket league on the pattern of the money spinning Indian Premier League.

The bid would be made according to the performance of the players.

Chairman of the organizing committee of the Kashmir League, Farooq Amin, said this was the first major cricket tournament being organized in the state's cricketing history and it will be like IPL of Kashmir.

"Twelve leading corporates of Jammu and Kashmir have gathered here. This is a great new initiative to build sportsmanship in the state. We hope that all this goes well," said Amin.

The league is expected to begin from July 1, 2013, and the matches would be played in Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla cities of the northern state of India.

The bidding range for players started from Rs.3,000 to Rs.15,000, whereas Ranji Trophy players went under the hammer from Rs.5,000 to Rs.15,000.

In this Jammu Kashmir Corporate Premier League, each match will have a cash award for man of the match and also for maximum sixes.

The winner of the league will walk away with a cash prize of Rs. 300,000 and the runner up will get Rs.1.5 lakh.

The organizing committee has already selected the captains, sports heads, and liaison officers for each team.

Owner of a cricket team in Kashmir cricket league, Saddam Zaroo, said that the organisers of the league had worked hard for this project and involvement of radio, news channels and print media was making this event more popular among the people.

"Popular newspapers, nationwide channels are present here to cover this occasion, which shows the interest and increasing demand of the game among people. Thousands of cricket aspirants had come for the trials. The organisers have worked hard for this. They have worked on the demand and response of the locals, and this is why we are here," said Zaroo.

From 1400 cricketers who had sweat-it-out in hope of making their way to the local league, around 216 shortlisted players across the valley showed up for the bidding for 12 participating teams in the competition in Srinagar.

Majid Dar, an aspirant cricketer in Kashmir, said the league would give them an opportunity to showcase the talent.

"For a lot of people this is the first time when they have come on this such a huge platform, have a bidding process and to be picked by the owners and it's a fantastic feeling for every cricketer."

For decades, cricket was a sleepy, laid-back pastime, but the shorter, television-friendly forms of the sport have brought an influx of money, especially in India.

Cricket, the 'gentleman's game' of the British Empire nations, has been hit by a series of gambling-related scandals in international matches in recent years and several players have been convicted of throwing games.

Former Test bowler of Indian team Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two other less-known cricketers Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, all the three representing Rajasthan Royals team in the IPL, were arrested for suspected acceptance of money from bookies to concede a fixed number of runs.

Meanwhile, recently Sreesanth and Chavan were granted bail by an Indian court.

Clamour has grown for legalising sports betting in the country for a better control over the bookies while the government is working on a law to tackle corruption in sports. (ANI)