MCL not to compete with Tendulkar-Warne league: Dean Jones

New Delhi: The Masters Champions League (MCL) has no intention to compete with a similar proposed event floated by cricketing greats Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, said its promoter and former Australia batsman Dean Jones.

Dean Jones
Dean Jones

Jones, whose company Major Events Group will be running the Masters Champions League (MCL), a Twenty20 tournament that will feature retired international players in Dubai, said both the leagues have "their own space" and can co-exist. Tendulkar and Warne had earlier this year made public their ambitious Legends T20 cricket League, proposed to be held in the USA in August-September.

"We want them to do well and we will not compete against them," Jones was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'. "We have got our own space in February and they have got theirs. They might want to join with us and play with us, we have spoken to them about their availability but I fully understand that they are trying to get their event up and running. We want to have the best league and I have no doubt that if we are successful, they will be as well," he said.

Initiated by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and organised by GM Sports, MCL has been initially approved for a 10-year period. The MCL was launched in Dubai recently, with Wasim Akram, Adam Gilchrist and Brian Lara in attendance as icon players. Jacques Kallis has also been named as an icon player. The MCL is planned as a two-week tournament in the UAE in February every year and will consist of six franchises in the first year, with each squad consisting of 15 members.

The players must all be former international cricketers who are now retired completely and are not playing in any domestic league around the world. Jones claimed that the idea had received a "fantastic response". "Each franchise will have icon players and Associate Nation players," he said. "They will also have A-class players like Scott Styris who can still play first-class cricket.

There are players out there who have to be approved by the ICC, our governing council and the Emirates Cricket Board. If I put my name in, I will be told I'm too fat and will not be allowed to play. "We'll have a rotation policy where an older bowler can bowl his four overs and not field as much. We want to see great players from the past but our major goal without doubt is protecting the standards."

Talking about the efforts needed from the orgainsers in maintaining a clean image of the league, Jones said they will follow ICC's strict anti-corruption guidelines. "The biggest cancer in our sport is match fixing and batting. The rules and regulations and the compliances which ICC issue for the World Cup, IPL and the Big Bash League will be followed.

"We are looking at a lot of security companies that have aligned themselves with the ICC which we will be using in the tournament," he said. "The ICC must look at all the franchise buyers and all the compliances which will come into place with phones, etc. We are aware of all that and that was my number one consideration before being a part of this. If this is not followed, then we are in trouble with betting and those kinds of scandals.

"I think the players are pretty well versed and they will be advised. They will meet the anti-corruption unit along with the coaches and the owners. We will not allow owners on the ground. They will be in the corporate boxes but the players will do their jobs on the field," Jones added.

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