April 13, 2008

Indian Premier League

The IPL - cricket's fourth epoch





The IPL continues to make the headlines © AFP
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The Indian Premier League, which launches in less than a week, has brought forth a host of responses from respected voices in the game. To start things off, Scyld Berry, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, labels the IPL as the 'fourth age of cricket'.

When dusk descends on India this Friday evening, and the lights go on in Bangalore, not only will the Indian Premier League commence. It will also launch the fourth age of cricket.

The first era extended from the sport's birth in medieval England to the 1870s; the second covered Test cricket for the next hundred years; and the third was the commercial, international era launched in Australia by Kerry Packer.

Starting next weekend, India will shape the sport, as their eight city-based franchises play matches of 20 overs per side in a three-hour package designed for mass, global entertainment. The salaries of the top IPL cricketers are beyond the wildest imaginings of anyone who has played before - unless the Aladdin who went into a cave was a useful all-rounder.

Ian Chappell, in the same newspaper, says the ICC haven't learnt anything from the Packer revolt. Click here for the full article.

The administrators haven't studied the history of the game closely; in the seventies they fought Kerry Packer over World Series Cricket and lost. To the extent that the ICC haven't offered IPL a window in the schedule where the tournament can be conducted without affecting players' commitments to their country, the administrators are again resisting change

Meanwhile, Mike Brearley calls for embracing the "fizz-buzz appeal of Twenty20" in the Observer.

Also in the Observer Jamie Jackson has his take on the revolution.

Simon Wilde previews the English county season in the Sunday Times. He writes about the cloud of uncertainty hanging over it due to the emergence of the IPL

Neil Manthorp, in his tour diary on the SuperCricket website, criticises the IPL for its "obsession with money"

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Ashok Ganguly is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo

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