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Monday, March 29, 2010

IPL for India - boon or bane

Puma joins hands with the Deccan Chargers!Image by teemus via Flickr
While much has been written about IPL and its financial achievements, the jury is still not out on the benefits that the IPL will bring to the Indian cricket.

Of course, it was started to nurture new talent but that was three years ago. Nobody seems to be talking about this any more now. All talk revolves around the amount of money (more importantly profits) that the franchisees will or are supposed to make.

But, as one has been seeing over the last 3 seasons, the IPL is beneficial to India's rivals. How? In many ways:
  • It used to be very difficult for competing teams to get advantage of the Indian sub-continent. This was one of the reasons why India ran up huge wins over teams like England, New Zealand in the 90's under the captaincy of Azharuddin. But, now the Last Frontier has been breached. One can see the youngsters of all teams (especially teams like Australia, South Africa - the main rivals for India's No.1 slot) play for various IPLsides. This is invaluable experience that they are picking up - you might start realizing the value that the Boards are seeing in the IPL (of course, other than their share of money).
  • The captains of teams (Sangakkara, Gayle, Collingwood) are able to pick up tricks of the trade from veterans like Sourav Ganguly (the best Indian captain in the new age), Shane Warne (the best captain Australia never had), Anil Kumble & Adam Gilchrist. The use of slow bowlers to open the bowling, the field-changes are definitely of great help to the captains at the T20 World Cup.
  • Of course, one cannot ignore the financial aspect (especially if it pertains to IPL, right?). The Caribbean team of 1980s were so successful that the only way forward seemed to be down. And that is what happened - the advent of sports like basketball in the neighboring US meant that the youngsters were attracted to the lure of these sports. The same happened when Adam Sanford started T20 cricket - but, thanks to his financial problems, he is cooling his heels behind bars as we read this article. The IPL has just taken the concept further and made it lucrative for Windies youngsters. Similarly, the players of Black Caps have been impacted by low salaries for few years now - again, IPL comes to the rescue here. No wonder, the Board is happy to allow their players ply their wares in IPL.
Obviously, the money that is generated from the IPL can be put to good use by having dedicated coaching (physical, cricketing, mental conditioning) facilities, great stadia around the country, helping retired players of domestic cricket,  nurture young talent so that a career option can be thought of, improving the standard of pitches of all centers, etc. But, obviously, none of this is planned so far.

Will the BCCI do this? What is your opinion?
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