Two of the four semifinal slots of the ICL tournament have gone to Lahore Badshahs and Chennai Superstars, and the other two are up for grabs. Ahmedabad Rockets are out of the reckoning, and with Mumbai Champs and Chandigarh Lions having just a slim chance, the tussle is between the three other teams - Hyderabad Heroes, Kolkata Tigers and Delhi Giants. The Heroes have two more matches to play in the league while the Giants and the Tigers have just one left, making it tougher for them.
Today, Hyderabad Heroes will play their penultimate match of the league against Chandigarh Lions. Hyderabad Heroes is captained by the experienced New Zealand allrounder Chris Harris, coached by Steve Rixon, and has international stars in Pakistani allrounder Abdul Razzak, Australian batsman Jimmy Maher, South African spinner Nicky Boje and hard-hitting batsman Justin Kemp. The side also has youngsters Stuart Binny, Alfred Absolem, Anirudh Singh, Ibrahim Khaleel, Ambati Rayudu, Inder Shekhar Reddy, Kaushik Reddy, Shashank Nag, D Vinay Kumar, Baburao Yadav, Syed Sahabuddin and Zakaria Zuffri.
Dashing ex-New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns is the captain of Chandigarh Lions. Lou Vincent, Andrew Hall, Matthew Elliott, Daryl Tuffey, Dinesh Mongia, Love Ablish, Bipul Sharma, Chetan Sharma, Gaurav Gupta, Harpreet Singh, Karanveer Singh, Ishan Malhotra, Rajesh Sharma, Manish Sharma, Tejinder Pal Singh, Amit Uniyal and wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh are the other members of the team, and Balwinder Sandhu is the chief coach. The team has lost four of the six matches it has played.
The Indian Cricket League (ICL) is a private cricket league that runs parallel to the existing cricket league managed by the BCCI. It is promoted by Zee Telefilms (part of Subash Chandra's Essel group), and was set up with a Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) corpus. The inaugural season of the ICL started in November 2007 with 6 teams. Each team will be coached by a former international cricketer, and will comprise 4 international, 2 Indian and 8 budding domestic players. The Essel Group is also planning to set up cricket academies all over the country.
Entry to the matches is by tickets of Rs. 200 and Rs. 500 per head, available at specific Music World outlets. Please contact 3988-0288 for further details.