As per the reports in Fairfax Media, Australia’s Test captain Michael Clarke and left-handed batsman David Warner could receive offers up to $50 million in return for signing for a 10-year contract in new lucrative T20 league, backed by the Essel Group.
Earlier this week, Subhash Chandra – the owner of the Essel Group, confirmed his galvanising plan to launch an unnamed cricket venture, a new global T20 tournament same as the Kerry Packer’s creation of World Series Cricket. Chandra, who also previously managed the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL), is back with another idea of a rebel league but this time, the league will be a global outing and will be parallel to the ICC.
Former world players’ union chief Tim May said that he had been questioned by several other organisations about the viability of them entering the cricket market in a similar fashion, and pointed to disillusion with the recently restructured ICC financial model that hugely favoured India, Australia and England as a factor.
“There is a general dissatisfaction with the game’s governance, how it’s run and the inequity of the game’s finances and there are other bodies around that would believe they can globalise the game of cricket in a more equitable fashion than the current administration,” May said.
Apart from May, Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards has also given his view on the issue. He has described story as ‘highly speculative’ and has given his full support to the ICC.
“We are aware of the reports around a rebel league and they remain highly speculative, particularly given the proposed scale and complexity. Australian cricket has never been in better health,” Edwards said .
“Australian cricket has never been in better health. Record crowds, television audiences, grassroots participation and commercial support continue to drive record revenue which means player payments have never been higher and will only increase.
“As it stands, Australia’s cricketers are the highest paid athletes of any team sport in the country and the earnings of our top-ranked players would already be close to the numbers referenced in today’s media reports,” he concluded.
Reports also say that some of the big Indian players have also been approached for signing a contract.