Indian football, riding high on the mega bucks and euphoria generated by the upcoming Premier League Soccer, yesterday threw a challenge to cricket with a top PLS official saying the fare to be dished out by the proposed tournament would eclipse cricket's cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Haldia franchisee signed Argentine ace Juan Pablo Sorin yesterday

The dates of the two tourneys are clashing at a time when cricket is seemingly going through a crisis after dwindling crowd attendance and poor performances by the national team, which has also lost its sponsor Sahara.

On the other hand, the PLS has already grossed over R100 crore in franchisee and foreign player auctions. "Looking at the current situation, the IPL bosses should be more concerned about the PLS. Through PLS, football is throwing a challenge at cricket," Indian Football Association (IFA) secretary Utpal Ganguly said.

The tournament, is tentatively slated to begin March 24 with the final scheduled for May 6, the organisers said  while announcing Argentine 2006 World Cup skipper Juan Pablo Sorin as the icon player of the Haldia franchisee yesterday.