Tag Archives: indian premier league

IPL 2009 (IPL 2) is a commercial joke!

22 Apr

The IPL 2 (Indian Premier League), which is being held in South Africa is becoming a big joke this time around. Though Mr. Lalit Modi and co put together some good effort to make it colorful and guaranteed on time delivery of the tournament, the undertone now is MONEY and not cricket!

The South African cricket board has done a wonderful job by hosting the tournament at such a short notice. However, there are some things about this edition of IPL that makes it less attractive for the cricketing world.

First of all, the game rules were changed to make money for the advertisers and Sony Entertainment Television. It is really pathetic that a prolonged and so-called strategic break (10 mins break after 10 overs in an innings) is taking the momentum and steam away. Sometimes I felt that they are using much more than 10 minutes. This break has nothing to do with on the field strategies but to stuff more ads for the Indian spectactors watching it on the TV

Secondly, I am really getting irritated with SET MAX’s ‘technical difficulties’ at key moments during the game. This usually happens during the toss and I get a feeling that they are intentionally doing it.

Thirdly, the weather, which was cited as the prime reason for moving IPL to South Africa (and not England) doesn’t seem to behave as predicted. Half the matches so far have been shortened or wiped out due to bad weather.

As I mentioned in the last post, I was hoping for really fiery pitches so that some of the Indian batting heroes in dead rubber gets to reassess themselves. Definitely the pitches are much better than those in India but somehow not as pacy as expected.

I am also disappointed due to the fact that only 4 foreign players can be used in the 11 member team. Probably this number should have been 5 or 6 as the match is being played abroad. Talking about the game abroad, we are also missing the noise and buzz in the stands that you get to see in India.

The missing real fanbase is another issue. Since there’s no concept of home and away matches for the local teams (Chennai, Delhi etc) some part of the excitement and fan support is missing.

The money aspect is visible in every stage of the tournament. Several teams have sent back their under performers ruthlessly to cut cost. The emphasis is always on how much the broadcasters and team owners can make.

The only positive so far is the older stalwarts who are proving their points. Anil Kumble, Muralidharan, Shane Warne, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman are just proving the fans that with technical perfection the problems with age can be offset. Many of the young batting heroes and young bowlers have already failed miserably.

I hope that the situation improves as the tournament progresses and weather gets better. But certainly, since IPL first edition had set a lot of expectations, this time around it is turning out to be a less exciting event.

IPL: Nothing royal about Bangalore Royal Challengers!

7 May

As a Bangalorean, one of the fears that I had in mind during the IPL auctioning was about the composition of the Bangalore Royal Challengers team. Its owner, Dr. Vijay Mallya being an aggressive business man having ample sports acumen as well, I was expecting him to come up with an aggressive team setup – players and staff – as well.

Instead, Dr. Mallya entrusted Mr. Rahul Dravid with the team selection and composition. With all respects to Dravid, who is my favorite Indian test cricketer along with Mohammed Azharuddin, I should say that he is still living in the 1950s. My doubts on the team’s performance have become real, match after match.

As many termed it, what we have with Bangalore RC is a test team – more precisely a veteran’s test team. I don’t understand what Sunil Joshi, Anil Kumble, Jack Kallis (Twenty-20 dropped by SA team), Rahul Dravid himself has to do together for the cause of T20. Rahul Dravid has started performing of late, but others have been pathetic. Another thing is that they have some great recruits like Shreevats Goswami and Abdur Razzak who are not even getting a chance. Almost all the matches they featured 7 to 8 players above the age of 30.

There have been some good things about IPL where youngsters got to play with international stars and icons of the game. However, some undue importance given to locals has started hurting many teams and Bangalore RC is the biggest loser among them. Hopefull by next season some of our great names will retire and Twenty 20 – as the name suggests – will be the game of players in their twenties or lesser.

IPL – An opportunity or threat?

15 Feb

The Indian Premier League (IPL), which was originally devised by the BCCI to counter the Indian Cricket League (ICL), seems to be getting bigger than anybody would have thought. Even before the event is kicked off, it has managed to attract so much of international attention and has really become a headache for cricket bodies across the world.

The cash rich BCCI has been really successful, so far, in selling the new idea not only to the potential players and officials but to large business houses, broadcasters and even bollywood celebrities. The 10 year broadcasting rights was given to Sony Entertainment Television for a whopping $1 billion (4000cr rupees!!!). There could be 1000s of crores of other income per year in the form of franchisees, endorsements etc. So in short, it’s pretty clear that BCCI is now running like a business rather than a governing body that stands for the interest of the game. And all this money is for cricket, cricket and more cricket.

More than the mismanaged money of a developing nation, there are other issues as well. Suddenly, a number of international players seem to be opting for early retirement in order to sign up with the IPL. The money that they are going to make for a two months’ summer holiday in India is much more than what they might get for an year’s central contract by their respective cricket controlling bodies. Since BCCI managed to convince ICC about this new Twenty 20 league, local bodies may not have much say. ICC wouldn’t have even dreamt of the revenue potential from IPL, in which case even they would have laid out profit sharing guidelines and other rules to restrict player pouching.

Even worse is the current situation that Cricket Australia is going through. A lot of Australian players – predominantly those who have signed up with IPL – seems to be opting out of the planned tour to Pakistan citing personal issues and safety concerns. In fact, the tour to Pakistan is clashing partly with the IPL summer schedule and this sounds more like a plan to make some quick money with IPL by skipping the Pak tour. BCCI is adding more fun to the whole drama by allowing Pakistan to play a few ODIs against India if tour by Australia is cancelled! All these sound so fishy and I feel that BCCI is growing bigger than the game and all other cricket playing nations and ICC put together. These developments are probably going to jeopardize the game sooner or later.

If IPL is really in the interest of the game, I think ICC should include the same in the overall international cricket agenda and also formulate plans to help other cricket boards who loose their players to IPL. The money required for the same has to be shared by IPL and BCCI. Also, it would be great if BCCI is redirecting part of their huge profits for the betterment of other sports or even to address some social and economical issues in India. That is when IPL becomes a real opportunity for all and cricket really becomes the religion of India!