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5 ICL players who could've fit well into IPL teams

Ambati Rayudu, one of the few who played in IPL as well as ICL
Ambati Rayudu, one of the few who played in IPL as well as ICL
Divy Tripathi
ANALYST
Modified 23 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) was a city-based T20 league in India. The ICL's first edition took place a few months before the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008.

While the league died out in 2009, it has left its legacy as being an innovator in the field of T20 cricket. It had a franchise model, a round-robin format, its own world series and a number of international stars.

While some of the Indian players were able to use the amnesty offered by the BCCI to play in the IPL, several international cricketers who featured in ICL missed out on the IPL magic.

On that note, here are five ICL players who could've fared well in the IPL.


#1 Craig McMillan

Craig McMillan here seen in 2021 Black Clash, could
Craig McMillan here seen in 2021 Black Clash, could've been a great asset in many IPLs

Craig McMillan was tailor-made for T20 cricket and could’ve set the IPL on fire with his hard-hitting. But his fateful decision to join the ICL cut short his career. He featured for the Royal Bengal Tigers in the ICL.

In the 2007 ICC World T20, McMillan scored 169 runs at a whopping strike rate of 181. The aggressive batsman was also a crafty medium-pacer and a good fielder.

Potential IPL team

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Mumbai Indians tried out a number of T20 specialists in their early years, including Luke Ronchi and Dominic Thornely. They would’ve loved to have someone like McMillan in their middle-order. The Kiwi could've also complemented Dwayne Bravo and Shaun Pollock in the bowling department.


#2 Abdul Razzaq

Abdul Razzaq, here seen batting for Pakistan in 2010
Abdul Razzaq, here seen batting for Pakistan in 2010

Some of the most prominent faces in Pakistan cricket featured in the first season of the IPL. Abdul Razzaq was not among them as he decided to ply his trade for Hyderabad Heroes in the ICL.

The all-rounder finished with 2578 runs and 135 wickets in T20 cricket. Given that no Pakistan player has appeared in the league since 2009, it is possible that his IPL appearance would’ve been restricted to a single season.

Potential IPL team

He could’ve joined forces with Andrew Symonds, VVS Laxman, and Shahid Afridi of the Deccan Chargers team. The all-rounder would’ve been a great asset down the order and could’ve also opened the bowling along with RP Singh.


#3 Heath Streak

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Born to play T20: Heath Streak in middle of a bowl out in 2005
Born to play T20: Heath Streak in middle of a bowl out in 2005

Heath Streak was an absolute phenomenon for the Zimbabwe cricket team in the 1990s and early 2000s. He played for Ahmedabad Rockets in the ICL.

With a T20 strike-rate of 170 and a bowling average of 22, Streak would’ve been an asset to any team. He was also a leader and could’ve filled out the captain’s role for any side.

Potential IPL team

Kolkata Knight Riders suffered from a leadership crisis in their early years. They even tried to toy around with the idea of having multiple captains in their playing XI, but that scheme never took off.

Heath Streak would’ve featured as a bowling all-rounder, who could’ve captained the team if the need arose.


#4 Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns: A solid all-rounder
Chris Cairns: A solid all-rounder

The Kiwi great was one of the most prominent international faces in the ICL. He captained the Chandigarh Lions in the inaugural season. Although he was in the last legs of his playing days, he could’ve been a great asset in the IPL.

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With close to 5000 ODI runs and 201 wickets, his experience and expertise would’ve made him a desirable asset for any IPL team.

Potential IPL team

Over the years, Chennai Super Kings have shown an affinity for fast bowling all-rounders like David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Andrew Flintoff, Jacob Oram, and Sam Curran.

Chris Cairns could’ve been the senior professional who would’ve eventually become part of the CSK's coaching staff and management.


#5 Brian Lara

Brian Lara batting for MCC in 2010
Brian Lara batting for MCC in 2010

Brian Lara stunned the world by announcing his international retirement during the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. He then went on to play for the Mumbai Champs in the ICL.

He didn’t feature in any recognized T20 match till 2010, when he decided to play in Zimbabwe. Although his chances were hampered due to age, injuries and the ICL, he still would’ve been a decent choice for a number of IPL sides.

Potential IPL team

A side like Delhi Daredevils would’ve loved to add some strength to their middle-order.

They had a solid top-order and with Lara in the middle, they would've been the near perfect team in the inaugural edition of IPL.

Published 23 Mar 2021, 07:54 IST
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