June 14, 2008

Indian Premier League

Modi's making up rules as he goes along

Nishi Narayanan

Lalit Modi's condition that no team with ICL players will be allowed in the Champions League has hit English counties badly. Indian Express's Kunal Pradhan writes that Modi, like the boy who owns the football in a colony match, is making up his own rules as he goes along.

So, after formulating base prices for all players and deciding on who the ‘icons’ are, he starts issuing coloured passes to owners for visiting the dressing-rooms, suspends umpires, hands out fines at will, and then decrees that any player associated with the ICL won’t be allowed to play in the Champions League, or he will “disqualify that team” and mind you, “no exceptions will be made under any circumstances”.

IPL officials can rest assured that any conflict with teams from abroad will again be seen as a race debate back home. Like with so many other things in Indian cricket, the slam-the-foreigner card has become the easiest one to play. Right from the Tendulkar ball-tampering row in South Africa to the Harbhajan racism debate in Australia to Gavaskar’s ‘conflict of interest’ with the ICC, the Indian media and public fall in line to attack those of fairer skin — not always with good reason.

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Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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