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In Caravan Magazine, Rahul Bhatia looks back on how Mark Mascarenhas - who was in fatal car accident ten years ago to a day - first broke open the business of cricket.
Over the course of the era that he helped define—and then in the decade after him—the sport grew up from a gawky adolescence to an irresponsible adulthood, and the hesitations of yesterday were cast aside for the noisy satisfactions of a protracted financial bender. Looking back now, the sums involved were minute, but they made headlines at the time: when one of Mascarenhas’s clients became the first cricket millionaire in 1995, it was big enough news to make the cover of the weekly news magazine Outlook. A million dollars is what some cricketers now earn in a month. Mascarenhas was derided for the price he paid to acquire the 1996 World Cup; 16 years later, that amount wouldn’t have bought him two days of Indian cricket coverage. The transformation of the game wasn’t accomplished by one man alone, but Mascarenhas made the first move.