শনিবার, সেপ্টেম্বর ১৯, ২০২০
খেলাধুলা ডেস্ক
১১ আগস্ট ২০২০
৪:১৯ অপরাহ্ণ
Indian Premier League - A Cricketing Extravaganza Or Something Else
Indian Premier League - A Cricketing Extravaganza Or Something Else

১১ আগস্ট ২০২০ ৪:১৯ অপরাহ্ণ

Cricket has skilled a robust metamorphosis, moving from the 5-day match game pattern to one-day internationals that give 50 overs a team and now, we are into a good more compact format of cricket called T20 or twenty-twenty. The twenty-twenty format shrinks the sport further to only 20 overs per team. this T20 World Cup is meant to be held from 30th April to 16th May 2010. additionally, we even have different competitive events just like the Sharjah Cup, the Champion's Trophy then on. Given the slew of cricketing events and therefore the massive fan following they need it had been only a matter of your time before a sports entrepreneur decided to maximize this phenomenon and build one among India's largest sporting extravaganzas of all time. And India being a cricket-crazy nation, the Indian Premier League, which is closely modeled on the hugely successful English Premier League found an almost instant fan following.

So, the primary installment of the IPL began in 2008, with 8 teams - Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore. The teams are essentially named after specific Indian states, and that they are owned by different entities beginning with movie stars, media conglomerates, and industrialists then on. There was massive media frenzy around the whole event because it started in early 2008, with international players, Indian players all up for grabs, and an enormous auction following it. The teams were formed and therefore the matches began. The model was interesting in additional ways than one. First, players of an equivalent country were being pitted against one another many-a-time. So, as far because the sport went, we could see the magic of Muralidharan alongside the keeping of Dhoni in one team. like seeing Tendulkar and Jayasurya bat on an equivalent side! Secondly, the teams were all tied to different states or cities. So a Mumbai Indians match versus say Kings XI Punjab was played in Mumbai or in Punjab, and somehow the scintillation of watching a Mumbai team in Mumbai or a Deccan team in AP was brought out, very similar to how fans find watching Man U play at Old Trafford more enjoyable than the other Man U match! It even served to unite a state with the underlying theme being cricket. So, while different teams won and lost at different times, the winner clearly was cricket. At an equivalent time, the entire franchise is valued at over $4 billion!

And so, as is that the case with any event that gathers instant stardom and is worth billions of dollars, this one found its controversies also. Even the Beijing Olympics that were executed to inch-perfect perfection weren't spared the controversy, from lip-syncing ceremony performers to instant shutdown of polluting factories. So how can this sporting enterprise be spared?

So, IPL2 - the second installment was mired in controversy over security. The event clashed with General Elections in India then security was of paramount concern. the govt requested the organizers to postpone the tournament till after the elections, but this was refused since apparently TV rights and slots had been booked. So amid tons of controversy and hue and cry the tournament shifted to South Africa, leaving a disgruntled Indian Government and disappointed Indian fans in its wake.

IPL3 wasn't spared also. When peace talks with Pakistan hit an impasse, some political parties were up in arms against allowing Pakistani players from participating within the IPL. Yet again, the papers screamed out about how some politicians were interfering in sport, and the way the unifying spirit of sport was being squandered then on. Finally, newer players got an opportunity and therefore the Pakistani players didn't indeed get an opportunity to play in IPL3.

Now IPL4 though, attracted controversy before it could even begin and this controversy has threatened the whole existence of the enterprise - the most important controversy thus far.

As per the first plan by the organizers, 2 more teams were to be added to the IPL franchise in 2011 - Pune and Kochi. There apparently are some wrongdoings in terms of cash laundering and corruption underlying some dealings and therefore the way the auctions and franchises are conducted are allegedly not very transparent. So, the past few weeks have brought out tons of murkiness within the story to the fore. Now, one among the proposed 2 new teams was Kochi, in Kerala. The IPL chief, Lalit Modi tweeted once revealing the winners of the Kochi team and also commented that a Kerala MP and Union Minister Dr. Shashi Tharoor was involved in 'mentoring' the team. It came to the fore that the winning bidder, Rendezvous Sports World belonged to Dr. Tharoor's friend, Sunanda Pushkar. What followed was a murky mud-slinging exercise, with allegations of wrongdoing flying on all sides. On one side the union minister was accused of pocketing some money himself, the financial capability of Ms. Pushkar was called into question, the union minister's involvement was looked upon with suspicion, his friendship with Ms. Pushkar was questioned and a bit like it takes a pinprick to open up a can of worms, all skeletons came tumbling out of the IPL closet.

The taxmen then stepped up and began scrutinizing the records of the bidding process. The bid documents of two legitimate bidders who lost were interestingly missing. The winning franchise owners weren't spared either. but a few teams like say the Chennai Super Kings with 100% ownership by India Cements, many other teams appeared to have ownership by different entities, some hailing from tax havens just like the British Virgin Islands as well! Clearly the IPL had ventured into tons quite just cricket and unification of the game.

Dr. Tharoor was asked to step down since it looked as if the minister was exploiting his governmental powers and therefore the Indian Opposition demanded an equivalent of the ruling coalition. Ms. Pushkar gave up her equity in an effort to stop the resignation of the minister. As if that weren't enough, the erstwhile BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) president Mr. Sharad Pawar and his party were drawn into the controversy. And when accosted, Mr. Pawar, with whose blessings Lalit Modi had started the IPL franchise, had to disown it all. And then, apparently, Multi Screen Media (MSM), an arm of Sony Entertainment Television paid all of Rs. 125 crore or 1.25 billion rupees to World Sports Group (WSG) for broadcast rights. This money apparently has flown to many beneficiaries with 'political connections'.

The controversy keeps getting murkier and different entities and their nefarious interests keep coming to the fore. And while all this is often happening, Mumbai Indians combat Chennai Super Kings during a face/off on Sunday - April 25th. Whether that match is interesting or otherwise, the IPL controversy sure makes for interesting early morning coffee time reading!

What does all this mean on behalf of me like an Indian? Well, I used to be exposed to how a business can form out of an Indian fan phenomenon. At school, we had a representative of an IPL team come and provides us an interview on their business plan and proposition which was once I realized how an entrepreneur could maximize the 2 things that stoke the Indian imagination - cricket and glamor. the mixture came as a masterstroke. And now, with the entire franchise embroiled in controversy, another Indian phenomenon has come to the fore which is that the quintessential C for corruption which nowadays seems to underline every enterprise that plans to require shoot in India. Till the controversy opens itself up, I assume we a minimum of having enough stories as fodder for the media and enough to refill newsprint. So regardless of who wins this battle of who is that the most corrupt of all of them, the winner most definitely is that the media that finally has one among the juiciest Indian story of all time.

 

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