Everyone thought that ICL won't be a great success when it was started on April 3, 2007. But it's proving us wrong with its success. The league started becuase BCCI was ignoring many talented young players at the domestic level.
Though the first season of ICL was not successful, this season was a grand success with large crowd coming for all the matches. The quality of cricket was good and so was the crowd at all the grounds.
ICL started with 6 teams, which expanded to 8 in early 2008 and added one more in the second half of the same year.
ICL television ratings were very strong towards the end of their first season. 55 million people watched the first series of the tournament and most estimates have this season's television audience at above 100 million viewers.
There is a lot of talent at the domestic level with the hunger to prove themselves and represent their country. Most of the domestic players are proving their talent in ICL.
The following players(Indian) were very successful in ICL.
Rajagopal Sathish : This all-rounder plays for Chennai Super Stars and scored 287 runs from 9 matches at an average of 47.83 in this tournament with 76* being his highest score. He scored 843 runs from 36 matches at an average of 32.42 in ICL Twenty20s with 86* being his highest score and took 14 wickets. He has the most number(6) of fifties in ICL Twenty20s. He is also the captain of ICL IndiaXI.
His first class average is 37.03 with 1222 runs in 22 matches. His highest score is 204*.
Ambati Rayudu : He is a great talent and can play according to the situation. He has been one of the consistent performers for Hyderabad Heroes. He played an important role in Heroes winning the first season title. People, especially Hyderabadis, saw Azharuddin in Rayudu. But he was unfortunate to get a call to national team.
He scored 212 runs in 12 matches in this tournament where as he scored 738 runs in 35 ICL Twenty20 matches at an average of 23.81.
Ganapathi Vignesh : Vignesh is a good all-rounder. He plays for Chennai Super Stars. He averaged 29.11 in 9 matches and scored 262 runs. 88 was his highest score in this tournament.
In all 32 ICL Twenty20 matches he played, he scored 882 runs at an average of 27.56 and took 28 wickets.
Stuart Binny : Stuart Binny is the son of former Indian cricketer Rojer Binny. Stuart plays for Hyderabad Heroes in ICL and has been a part of their success in the tournament. He scored 258 runs at average of 25.80 and took 5 wickets in 12 matches. In all 29 ICL Twenty20 matches he played, he scored 667 at an average of 27.79 and took 16 wickets.
Ibrahim Khaleel : This wicketkeeper-batsman has a lot of talent. He provided good starts for Hyderabad Heroes. He scored 219 runs in 12 matches at an average of 73.00 in this tournament. He played an important role in Heroes' win. In all 22 ICL Twenty20 matches he played, he scored 449 runs at an average of 32.07.
TP Singh : This left-handed batsman plays for Chandigarh Lions in ICL. He is useful with the ball also. He scored 219 in 12 matches with an average of 31.28 and took 4 wickets in this tournament where as he scored 828 runs in 34 ICL Twenty20 matches with an average of 26.71 and took 13 wickets.
Inder Shekar Reddy : This slow left-arm orthodox bowler plays for Hyderabad Heroes. He took 15 wicketsin 12 matches at an average of 15.00 in this tournament. In all 34 ICL Twenty20 matches he played, he took 31 wickets at an average of 23.42.
T Kumaran: This right-arm medium bowler plays for Chennai Super Stars and was very successful in the first season of ICL. He played only one match in this season. He took 35 wickets in all the 20 matches he played.
ICL proved the perfect platform for many players to showcase their talents. I strongly feel these players make a strong bench strength for India. It is a great talent and unfortunately we may not see them in indian team.
BCCI shouldn't ignore the talented players for the reasons other than talent. It needs to support the players irrespective of whether they play for a rebel league or BCCI.
Courtesy: indiancricketleauge.in and cricinfo.com