Panchkula:Over the next two weeks, six teams, including domestic and international cricketers will be playing for the Indian Cricket League.
ICL's first tournament kick starts on Friday. There's nothing official about it, and so understandably Kapil Dev's 'baby' is having teething problems and sponsorship is the biggest of them.
Apparel company Provogue has partnered with the ICL for uniforms worn by the players. They've also managed to find travel partners and online partners in the form of Thomas Cook and Microsoft respectively.
But there have been major advertisers like Bisleri and Axis Bank, who have backed out.
Ashish Kaul, Vice President, Essel Group said, "Have you heard of any situation where sponsors haven't come in, gone out, been replaced? It's a natural part of any business deal. But at this point sponsors are my last concern. I am ready to take this competition off the ground, even if with zero sponsors."
NDTV has got to know that three companies, Spice Telecom, Bajaj Capital and Manikchand are in ICL's bag.
But the nature of the association remains a little ambiguous. Apparently it's a mix of team sponsorship, ground sponsorship and online association.
Unlike the ICL, the BCCI and ICC backed Indian Premier League seems all set to rake in the bucks. Just TV rights could net them a 1000 crores.
But the rebels with a cause believe that IPL may not be as big a hit as it is being made out to be.
"I am not making any comparisons between the ICL and the IPL. IPL has got a lot of stars like any Bollywood film but ICL is for domestic players.
"And I can assure you that by the time IPL starts, 95 per cent of its stars will pull out from it. Anyone who follows cricket and understands the ICC's scheduling will know that why would they play for the IPL and not their country? If they do that, I wish them best of luck", said Kaul, Vice President, Essel Group.