Subhash Chandra Goel, Chairman of Zee Telefilms Limited and promoter of Essel Group of Companies launches ICL    Getty Images
Subhash Chandra Goel, Chairman of Zee Telefilms Limited and promoter of Essel Group of Companies launches ICL Getty Images

The first Indian Cricket League (ICL) match went underway on November 30, 2007, just over two months after India won the inaugural T20 World Cup. ICL, funded by Zee Entertainment Enterprises, featured T20 matches between six franchises in the first edition, which went by the name of ICL 20-20 Indian Championship 2007-08. The teams, Kolkata Tigers (led by Craig McMillan), Delhi Jets (Marvan Atapattu), Chandigarh Lions (Chris Cairns), Chennai Superstars (Stuart Law), Hyderabad Heroes (Ambati Rayudu), and Mumbai Champs (Nathan Astle), featured several big names from contemporary cricket, both international and domestic.

All matches were played at Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium, Panchkula. ICL also followed the Jayadevan Method instead of Duckworth-Lewis Method. The Superstars won the inaugural IPL, defeating the Lions in the final by 16 runs. Pakistan’s Shabbir Ahmed took a hat-trick in the final and was named Man of the Match, while Ian Harvey was named Man of the Tournament.

Shortly after the tournament, the same teams participated in a tournament featuring 50-over matches called ICL 50s, 2007-08. The tournament witnessed two venues, the Lahari Resorts Ground (Hyderabad) and Mayajaal Sports Village (Chennai). The Superstars won this tournament as well; they beat the Jets by 1 wicket in the final. Dakshinamoorthy Kumaran was named Man of the Match in the final.

The Ahmedabad Heroes were added to the roster for the next edition, the ICL 20s Grand Championship 2007-08, sponsored by Edelweiss. More significantly, Lahore Badshahs, an all-Pakistan side, became an eighth team. The Heroes won this edition, beating the Badshahs 2-0 in the best-of-three finals. Abdul Razzaq was named Player of the Tournament.

The final edition, ICL 20s World Series 2007-08, featured international sides. ICL India, ICL Pakistan, ICL Bangladesh, and ICL World participated. ICL India won the final by 10 runs, against ICL World. Ganapathi Vignesh was named Man of the Match in the final, while Ibrahim Khaleel was Man of the Tournament.