Reports: Michael Clarke and David Warner offered $50 million to play in new cricket league
According to a report in Australian daily Sydney Morning Herald, Aussie cricketers Michael Clarke and David Warner will be offered 10-year contracts worth $50 million to join a new T20 cricket league. The league will be backed by Essel Group, who were the architects of the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Earlier this week, Essel Group’s chairman Subhash Chandra had confirmed that he is looking to launch a new league and had stated that he is looking beyond just the Commonwealth countries. He had also confirmed that former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi wasn’t involved in this new venture.
Just last week, The Guardian had reported that an employee of Ten Sports, who are a channel run by the Essel Group, had registered the domain name worldcricketcouncil.co.in, which had caught the attention of the International Cricket Council (ICC). This is seen as a move to form a rival world governing body for the second most popular sport in the world.
Australia Cricket Control Limited, New Zealand Cricket Limited, Kiwi Cricket limited, Aotearoa Cricket Limited and Cricket Control Scotland Limited are some of the companies that have been registered over the past few months, with existing national cricket boards already raising strong objections to the new registrations.
Cricket Australia calls idea of rebel league ‘highly speculative’
Wally Edwards, Cricket Australia’s chairman, has said that despite such reports, he isn't too bothered as Australian cricket is on a high and that their cricketers are already getting paid the amounts that the rebel league is willing to offer.
"We are aware of the reports around a rebel league and they remain highly speculative, particularly given the proposed scale and complexity. Australian cricket has never been in better health.
"Australian cricket has never been in better health. Record crowds, television audiences, grassroots participation and commercial support continue to drive record revenue which means player payments have never been higher and will only increase.
"As it stands, Australia's cricketers are the highest paid athletes of any team sport in the country and the earnings of our top-ranked players would already be close to the numbers referenced in today's media reports," Edwards said.