ICL ventures into 50-over format; to have domestic tourney next Feb

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Panchkula, Dec 16 (UNI) Indian Cricket League (ICL) today announced the launch of a 50-over domestic championship starting February 1 next year.

The 'rebel' league also announced three other new tournaments -- all in Twenty20 format -- for next year which include a triangular series, a Grand Championship of eight teams and an invitation tournament of eight teams, besides the second edition of the Twenty20 Indian Championship.

It also earmarked two months -- April and May -- to open cricket academies in prominent cities of the country.

Announcing the 2008 Calendar on the final day of the first edition of the Twenty20 Indian Championship here, Essel Group Chairman Subhas Chandra expressed happiness on the ''success'' of the league.

''It is indeed heartening to see the response Indian Cricket League (ICL) has been able to generate in India and across the globe. After a successful launch, in keeping with the promise made, ICL is proud to announce its cricket calendar for the coming season,'' Chandra said.

Former India captain and ICL Executive Board Chairman Kapil Dev said, ''We are overwhelmed to see the enthusiasm that Indian Cricket League has been able to generate amongst fans, not only in India but world over. With such a great response we are happy to announce the way forward for the league in the coming year.'' 2008 schedule: 1. Domestic Championship (50 Over tournament): starting Feb 1 2. Triangular Twenty20 Series (to field ICL XI): February-March 3. ICL Twenty20 Grand Championship (Eight teams): March-April 4. ICL Twenty20 Invitation Cup (Eight teams): Sept-Oct 5. ICL Twenty20 Indian Championships 2nd Edition (Eight teams): November-December UNI

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