Monday, March 10, 2008

IPL is not all that rosy

by KParthasarathi Monday, March 10, 2008
The formation of IPL evidently has the blessings of ICC.Nevertheless Malcolm Speed had emphasized the need for support of the seven member nations of ICC to the idea. More important is the stipulation that the IPL schedule should not dictate international fixtures. There should necessarily be a broad agreement amongst the seven member countries for a separate window for IPL tournament.IPL is essentially a creature of BCCI though players from other nations are part of the different teams of IPL.
It is perhaps too early to judge whether IPL schedule would clash with the interests of other test playing countries for their tours. Since a few international players are also participating in the IPL matches, it is reasonable to assume that regular tours may not take place unless the countries involved select other players to play regular series for their countries. IPL being the baby of BCCI with most Indian players in it, India would not agree to any tour during IPL schedule.ICC having allowed IPL to run as a parallel entity to organize tournaments cannot object to India tailoring its regular tours consistent with IPL programmes.While there may be agreement initially for the first IPL fixtures, it is not clear whether other test playing countries would subject themselves to the convenience of India in the future.
There is a predominance of Indian players in IPL as it is sponsored by Indian business outfits and film personalities. India’s financial clout in cricket and its strategy to rope in a few talented players of other countries with offers of phenomenal fees would in the long run adversely impact the ability of other countries to devise their own programmes to benefit a larger number of their players. They would also be exposed to the risk of their talented players being bought by the IPL teams.IPL competitions would acquire primacy over other tours. It is suspected the voluntary retirement of some key players of other nations could have stemmed from their desire to be wholly available for IPL.Many more can be expected to follow suit. With the leading corporate and media in the thick of IPL, there is no way for individual boards to match its money power. Just look at the money payable to the IPL players for one season of six weeks and work out the fees for one match. Can test playing countries ever think of paying such astronomical amounts for their regular matches? Even BCCI would not pay that kind of money. There will be two sets of players-the fortunate few in IPL and the hapless many outside IPL.
Test cricket has been bartered away to instant T20 cricket because of the latter’s growing popularity, large viewing audience and commercial returns. If perchance ICL is also able to match IPL in money power there would be two sets of tournaments in different seasons. It was a bit rash for ICC to have agreed to the formation of IPL without suitable restrictive clauses. With Pawar likely to be the next head of ICC, its subordination to the interests of IPL would be complete.
The nagging question remains whether IPL with its T20 format would be ringing the death knell of tests and one day games. There is also the fear that eventually IPL would create a wedge between India and other member countries.

No comments:

Post a Comment