The big match is on. Hyderabad Heroes and Chennai Superstars are clashing in the ICL Edelweiss 20s Challenge Cricket semifinal at the Lal Bahadur Stadium this evening. This match was supposed to be held at Chandigarh, but has been shifted to Hyderabad due to the tremendous response the tournament has received here. And the other good news is that the second and the third final (if required) will also be played at Hyderabad on the 6th & 7th of April.
Hyderabad Heroes is captained by the experienced New Zealand allrounder Chris Harris, coached by Steve Rixon, and has international stars such as the Pakistani allrounder Abdul Razzak, Australian batsman Jimmy Maher, South African spinner Nicky Boje and hard-hitting batsman Justin Kemp. The side also has youngsters such as 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.
Chennai Superstars, winner of ICL's inaugural tournament, is headed by the Australian Stuart Law, and has some big names of world cricket like the Australian allrounders Michael Bevan and Ian Harvey, New Zealand's wicketkeeper batsman Adam Parore, Srilankan allrounder Russel Arnold, Pakistani bowler Shabbir Ahmed and hard-hitting Hemang Badani. Devendran, J Harish, Rajamani Jesuraj, Dakshinamoorthy Kumaran, Thirunavukkarasu Kumaran, Sathiamoorty Saravanan, Rajagopal Sathish, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammed and Ganapathi Vignesh are the other members of the team.
The teams have clashed against each other during the league match on 15th March, and that match was won by the Heroes. Playing at home will also add to the advantage of the Heroes. The team has done exceptionally well in this tournament, having lost only two matches out of seven played, one against the unbeaten Lahore Badshahs and the other against Delhi Giants. On the other hand, the Superstars, the third-placed team behind the Badshahs and the Heroes, have the advantage of having played a final of this version.
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. 100 and Rs. 300 per head, available at specific Music World outlets. Please contact 3988-0288 for further details.