New Delhi: Leaving behind the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League by miles, BCCI's brain chald Indian Premier League (IPL) today announced some big time signings of current top stars including Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Bret Lee, Younis Khan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakara, Jacques Kallis, Chris Gayle and Daniel Vettori for the inaugural Twenty20 championship in April next year.
IPL had already signed some of the biggest past and present stars including Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muratharan and Stephen Fleming.
With the announcement of the confirmation of the players today from Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand, besides almost all current India players from Test, ODI and Twenty20 squads, almost all the top stars of the world are set to take part in the three million dollar prize money tournament expected to start from April 18 among eight-franchised city teams.
Only cricketers from England, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe from among the traditional ODI-playing countries have not represented in the league so far.
IPL also unveiled the franchise prospectus, giving details and structure of the each team to mark the start of global tendering process for official franchises.
Each franchisee squad would consist of 16 players, four internationals, four U-21 players and four players from the franchise's catchment area.
Each franchise squad would also require services of an executive team, team manager, professional coaching team, physiotherapist and an event manager.
IPL Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi said, ''IPL's T20 championship is poised to become the greatest sporting entertainment extravaganza ever undertaken in India.'' ''I am certain that the IPL will develop into a globally successful star-studded T20 league that will help satiate the global cricket fans' unending appetite for quality LIVE sports entertainment.'' The inaugural season of the IPL will run for 44 days and will have 59 matches.
Each franchise will play each other on a home and away basis with at least seven guaranteed home matches.
The top four franchises in the league will contest in the semi-finals and the winners will play in the Grand Final all over one weekend.
List of IPL Players (confirmed): India: Ajit Agarkar, S Badrinath, Piyush Chawla, MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Joginder Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Sreesanth, Sachin Tendulkar and Robin Uthappa; Australia: Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Brett Lee, Matthew Hayden, Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Gillespie and Cameron White; Pakistan: Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Yousuf, Shoaib Akthar, Younis Khan, Mohammed Asif, Shahid Afridi Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Zoysa, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakara, Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando; South Africa: Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince, Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel, AB de Villiers, Shaun Pollock, Loots Bosman, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini; New Zealand: Stephen Fleming, Brendan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori and Scott Styris; West Indies: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle.