Panchkula:The inaugural Indian Cricket League is down to the home stretch and it's time for the semis and the final now.
While many think it has been a great success, there is one worrying factor-the international players have done far better than the Indian players.
The Indian Cricket League organisers have had to spend on many things including entertainment to bring in the crowds. But one disappointing aspect is that none of the Indian players have really made a name for themselves.
The international stars have starred for their respective teams, Chris Cairns' 70 off 26 balls is the highest score of the tournament so far, while Ian Harvey is the top scorer with 207 runs in five matches.
"This was expected, but like we saw young Sujay Tarafdar on Wednesday taking three wickets in his debut match, it is a great platform for youngsters," said Craig McMillan, Captain, Kolkata Tigers.
The stats in the bowling department are slightly different though.
Chennai Superstars bowler Thiru Kumaran leads the tables with 10 wickets from four games, six of those came in this match against the Mumbai Champs.
Kumaran is, in fact, one of just three Indians who have won the Man of the Match award out of the 15 games played so far.
The first chapter of the Indian Cricket League will be a learning experience for everyone involved with it.
Just pouring in the bucks is certainly not the key to organising a cricket tournament. It has shown that even a Brian Lara or an Inzamam-ul-Haq can't fill up the stands.
Maybe instead of roping in more big names for the next tournament in March, they should look at the needs of the domestic players, for whom ICL is now the only hope.
Spice Telecom, one of the sponsors of the Indian Cricket League, has launched a new service that will make the rest of the tournament even more accessible to viewers.
The semi-finals and the final of the event this weekend will be available live on users' mobiles.
Certainly, the backing of his sponsor has pleased the Essel group, which according to industry experts has gone way over its 100-crore budget for the League. The returns have obviously been limited.