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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

IPL - Boon or Bane?

After the grand auction was completed, there were quite a few surprises in the selection of teams and more on the amount of money spent on the cricketers. While some of them like Dhoni and Symonds might have secretly expected a payment similar to what they finally landed, others like Ishant Sharma, David Hussey would have been thrilled at such a windfall.

The Bangalore team has done a thoughtful job of selecting the players who are multi-utility in nature and also those who are likely to play the inaugural season, something that the other teams have not considered. The Aussie players are not in the contention for the first season - simply because of their Pakistan tour. In this context, was it worth the amount of money that was spent on their regular players? Even if they dont play, those who have signed the contract stand to gain 25% of the amount that was promised. This seems to be a bit on the higher side.

Overall, cricket as a game is slowly becoming a profession of choice in India, with the money available. Few decades back, it used to be the passion of the youngsters that would decide the career. Of course, there are plenty of stories of how players had to fight against their parents to let them play the game that they love. Now, the financial viability is no longer left to be proved. This might lead to more players embracing the game. Let us see how it pans out in the near future.

The other question that remains is how financially profitable this entire venture will be? Will it be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved? BCCI, the franchises and players. Obviously the players stand to gain but it remains to be seen how the profitability of BCCI and the franchises will work out. Innovative ideas will be worked out, so that the franchises can make use of their million-dollar players in their ranks.

With all the money being splashed around, the talks of long cricketing schedules have gone out of the window. No longer are cricketers mentioning about how the IPL will eat into the time between tours. This only shows that cricketers are also humans and they would also like themselves to be paid reasonably for the efforts they put in on the field.

Another interesting point arises then. What happens if a star player gets injured in the IPL tournament. Who will foot his bill? Will it be the BCCI or the player's country? Also, if the injuries turn to be serious, it can lead to players not being able to turn out for the country in the international games. This is another aspect that all countries would do well to think about. So far, they have been agreeing for the IPL format, as they too stand to gain from the tournament (BCCI has agreed to share some of the spoils with them).

Twenty20 as a game has finally emerged now - after the World Cup was staged last year, this is the next prominent step. It remains to be seen if this format is used to the best impact or is it being treated just like the proverbial golden goose?
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