September 8, 2012

What I'd do if I bought the Deccan Chargers

Cat collars, hair jobs and Eddie Hemmings are all in the offing

Exciting news for budding IPL fat cats. Deccan Bank Charges, the Hyderabad-based comedy troupe specialising in satirical defeats and cricket slapstick, is up for sale. This week, the following advert appeared in the Franchise and Tycoon Gazette:

Southern Indian cricket team. Slightly damaged. Consists of 34 professional cricketers, collection of dark blue shirts (some tear-staining) animal-based logo and pervading sense of failure. Reasonably priced, around $107 million. No credit card payments please.

That's a little steep, even for a ESPNcricinfo writer, but I've put my sealed bid in an envelope and posted it to the BCCI, so fingers crossed. I can't divulge the full details, but I can say that if I win the auction, Mr Srinivasan's cat Tiddles will be looking a lot smarter in her new collar and there'll be complimentary Ganguly-style hair renovations for all BCCI members.

I've also given some thought to what changes I'd like to make. For a start, there are far too many players knocking about the place, so I'd introduce a radical restructuring of the playing staff; that is, I'd keep the cheapest 11 players and let the rest go. Obviously that might mean the odd disappointing result in the short term, but with 11 defeats in 16 matches last season, spectators are quite used to that. And to bring a touch of overseas glamour, I'd say farewell to Kumar and try to persuade Eddie Hemmings out of retirement.

Why is the thing up for sale in the first place? Officially it's because DCHL have run into a little financial difficulty. The real reason, of course, is that they were concerned that continuing to be associated with the losers in the blue shirts was doing reputational damage to their newspaper business. The same explains the reluctance to pay the players. I saw quite a lot of the Deccan Duffers last year. As Geoffrey Boycott might say, I wouldn't pay 'em in buttons.

Still the BCCI does seem to be taking a rather more generous approach than it did with poor old Kochi, who disappeared into the black hole where sports teams go to die faster than you could say "financial irregularities". Maybe Mr Srinivasan has a soft spot for the hapless chaps from Hyderabad. Or perhaps he has concluded that to lose a second franchise might look like carelessness and so has been cutting Deccan some slack.

And there is one interesting piece of news to come out of this for those who are reluctant to give the franchise thing a go in England. Five per cent of the price of the sale of the Deccan Doughnuts will go to the BCCI. Five per cent of $107 million is, well, quite a lot. Don't you want a piece of that action, Giles? And besides the money, there's the fun to be had toying with the franchise owners. You could even get involved yourself with a controlling stake in the Somerset Tractors or the Bristol Smugglers. And as a bonus, you can still run the ECB at the same time. It's a megalomaniac's dream!

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on September 16, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    andrew, probably it pays to do a little research on why they are going belly up before pontificating in the name of are holding up a chance of probably another aspiring satirist waiting behind your popularity.

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    @Andrew Hughes. There are more, likely to be available at throw away prices: Genuine ones made at the following historic places (No fakes' like Indian antiques. Originality guaranteed) Bangalore, Pune, Jiapur, Delhi. May be a couple of more. If you want to know more, send me a to & fro air ticket to London. I shall arrange a meeting of both of us with Lalit Modi. We can finalise matters then. Looking forward a fruitful (how fruitful is a matter we can decide when we meet)

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Deccan Chargers are lame !!! They have world class players like Steyn , Duminy , White etc. but these players never perform during IPL. If these players give even their 90 % then Deccan Chargers would be unbeatable. First of all , I do not see the reason of exchanging all those cool players lyk Symonds , Gilly and R.Sharma(when he is in form) just after they won an IPL title. That is stupidity and now they r suffering because of it... :(

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    too many overheads n bad money management

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    The article is alright, but why do u mention the ECB in the same article as the IPL...and why do u make it seem like the IPL is subjugating the ECB just out of the blue...I like your articles, but kindly be objective and unprejudiced in your approach...

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I will tell u how to make money with your team ... put up 1 slot in the team for auction for every match... there are many cricket crazy Indian who will pay u a million $ for that slot. Now it is very easy for others to want to replicate it. Instead Patent it and if some one else wanna do it they have to pay u a royalty. Sounds Money ??

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I'd love Andrew to own the Chargers. I'll also be open to calling them the Andrew Long Handlers...

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I'd love Andrew to own the Chargers. I'll also be open to calling them the Andrew Long Handlers...

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Well written, good humour. keep the cheapest eleven was the nail in the coffin

  • testli5504537 on September 8, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Hilarious as usual Andrew. Even though Im from Hyderabad I really enjoyed the Deccan Duffers part.They have been playing like duffers for the last couple of seasons. But hey, we have won the IPL which cant be said for most teams in the fray!! Hope a new owner with more sense would bring back some good players

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