Melbourne: The DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament will revolutionise cricket in the same way World Series cricket did in the 1970s, according to Australia fast bowler Brett Lee.
Lee was one of 75 players involved in the IPL's player auction on Wednesday, which assigned players to each of the eight teams and made many instant millionaires.
"I think it's definitely history," Lee was reported as saying in Thursday's Daily Telegraph newspaper of the 44-day tournament starting on April 18.
"If we look back in 10 years time this is going to be a massive landmark in cricket I think. It's a bit like when the World Series started."
World Series cricket, the brainchild of television mogul Kerry Packer, introduced day-night One-Day Internationals, coloured clothing and white balls in the 1970s, though unlike the IPL was a breakway league.
The IPL has the backing of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).
While Lee said he felt the tournament, which features 59 matches, would be as big a leap forward as World Series cricket, he doubted it would challenge the traditional formats of test matches and one-day games.
"It's completely different from Test cricket, it's completely different from one-day cricket," Lee said.
"I've always enjoyed putting the baggy green cap on and I've loved playing one-day cricket but since Twenty20 cricket has come in it's been pretty exciting."
"To me we take it serious and enjoy it, but it's also having a bit of fun."
Lee's Australian team mate Andrew Symonds said he was amazed at the player auction.
Symonds received the second-highest bid and will be paid $1.35 million (Rs 5.4 crore) by the Hyderabad franchise for the next three years.
India's one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the highest-ranked player with Chennai splashing out $1.5 million (Rs 6 crore) for the wicket-keeper batsmen.
"There is no sort of logical sense to what each player's worth... I can't see a pattern," Symonds told Thursday's Herald Sun.
"That's quiet amazing how that's unfolded."
"Unfortunately it's got nothing to do with me but that's just the way things turned out."
"That's what they offered to pay for me, I didn't ask for it," he added when asked if he felt like a mercenary, the newspaper reported.