Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne are reportedly planning to start a new Twenty20 competition for former international players.
Australian media reports say that Warne and Tendulkar have offered 28 big-name ex-players contracts worth around $30,000 a match to play in their tournament, the Cricket All Stars League.
Stars believed to have been contacted include Australians Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, along with Englishmen Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff and South African Jacques Kallis.
It’s understood Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council have no knowledge of the plans, but Lee’s manager Neil Maxwell confirmed his client had received an offer and would be seeking permission from CA to play.
“I can’t see anything wrong with it, it’s a group of retired blokes playing a game of cricket,” Maxwell told Fox Sports on Friday.
It means Lee could potentially return to the field only a few months after calling time on his professional career, though the Test quick retired from the international game in 2012.
If it comes to fruition, the Cricket All Stars League could affect some domestic Twenty20 competitions such as the BBL and Indian Premier League, which often include former international cricketers.
Lee played in last summer’s Big Bash League along with Flintoff and Kallis.
Under the reported proposal, a series of matches will be held around the world over a three-and-a-half-year period, with the US to host the first series in September.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are understood to be the leading contenders to hold matches.
The news follows a report two weeks ago claiming Australian stars Michael Clarke and David Warner were being targeted by an Indian conglomerate keen to offer them $50 million contracts to play in a new rebel Twenty20 league.
Essel Group, owned by billionaire media mogul Subhash Chandra confirmed its ambitions to launch an unnamed cricket venture, understood to be a new global Twenty20 tournament similar to Kerry Packer’s creation of World Series Cricket.
The group, which was behind the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL), also reportedly wants to create a breakaway world governing body for the sport, prompting the ICC to investigate.
CA chairman Wally Edwards dismissed the report as “highly speculative”.