FB Group

Share the Passion

To exchange links with me, please send mail to madhusudan (dot) gr (at) gmail.com.
Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

How successful has the IPL been?

Is IPL the future of cricket? I would wait for all the franchisees to update their balance sheets after the current competition is over. Have they made money? Probably no one is expected to do so, in the first year. It was suggested by BCCI that the franchisees will recover their money in the first 2-3 years. Going by the initial enthusiasm, one might think that this might be true. But, this perception has to be revisited during the next 2 weeks when the novelty of the matches will start fading. Will the crowds continue to patronize the matches? Probably not. The Bollywood stars, cheerleaders were supposed to supplement the cricketing gods in this concept.

Sponsors for shirts, watches, cricketing kit, etc only contributed to the coffers of franchise owners. Owners like Bollywood stars (Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta), even the busy tycoon Mukesh Ambani were found at the stadiums on match-day - to show how serious they are taking to the game. If one looks deeper, they are only concerned about their business just as any of their other businesses. They are concerned about how quickly they can recover their initial investments and are on the lookout for more avenues to make money with the teams they have bought.

But, is it only about money? One thought that the concept was going to introduce young talent to the country!!! What happened to that promise? Has anyone come through the ranks, who deserves attention? Will any player be pencilled into the senior squad for the next tour? The answer to this question is also, probably yes. Bowlers like Manpreet Gony, Pragyan Ojha, Shaun Marsh have displayed their skills that will provide great value even in the longer versions of the game.

Is the IPL entertaining? The answer to this one, atleast from my side, is NO. The cricket is mostly one-sided, with batsmen going all out to hit boundaries in the smaller grounds. The bowlers have no room for error and whoever does well, will definitely make a mark in the future. But, there is a feeling of emptiness when one sees the cricket. There is no emotions involved when a Zaheer Khan gets hit for a six or a Rahul Dravid gets out for a duck. Cricket is a game of emotions and if that is not tickled, the game does not get interesting or entertaining. It might well be a cricket match between Zimbabwe and Kenya.

What would have been better was a shorter tournament. The eight teams could have been split into two groups of four teams each. The teams would play each other once on home, once away. The top two teams of the groups could have met in the semi-finals, followed by a best-of-three finals. This would have ensured that the tournament duration was halved, while still retaining the enthusiasm of the viewers and energy levels of the teams.

The teams that are least disturbed by the early exit of Australia and New Zealand players seem to be the ones that are doing well, overall. But, the winner of the inaugural IPL tournament is undoubtedly, the BCCI. They have to be credited for pulling such a tournament off, atleast the first version. Their stakeholders must be grinning all the way to the bank.
Post a Comment