New Delhi:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) often drags it feet on cricketing matters, which is why the Indian team is without a coach and will be atleast for another month till they travel to Australia.
However, in marketing matters the board is right on top. The Indian Premier League, which promises to kill off the competition of the unofficial Indian Cricket League is their top priority.
Sachin Tendulkar among others is said to be interested in owning one of the teams and the board is out to ensure that this league modeled on the lines of club football is a huge success.
The kind of interest that the BCCI has generated in the IPL or the Indian premier league is such that film actor Rusell Crowe wants to own one of the teams or atleast have a stake.
The BCCI hasn't confirmed the names of any of the bidders but they have fixed a date when they will decide on who gets the lucrative television rights for this event.
"In November, the media rights for the event will be decided. The bidders will give presentations. Then the highest bidders can buy the franchise. But all I can tell you is that it has had an overwhelming response," said Rajiv Shukla - Chairman, Media Committee.
The BCCI is so determined to make the IPL a success that they will meet with the Asian Cricket Council next month to postpone the Asia Cup to June 2008. The Asia Cup is scheduled for April which is the same month that the IPL will launch.
Already the IPL has big names and big money. The floor price for each team franchise has been fixed at about Rs 200 crores. Sources in the BCCI have told NDTV that 20 bidders have expressed interest for the Mumbai team and nine for Delhi. Each of the players could be paid as much as Rs 40 lakhs to a crore.
"We have 49 players contracted and they are our strength," said Shukla.
So the IPL tournament will be played at the cost of the Asia Cup. Once again the BCCI coffers are all set to swell with top companies expressing interest to own IPL teams.
And with the number of them increasing, it is likely that the number of teams participating in the first edition of the tournament will also go up.