October 28, 2012

What's wrong with commercialising cricket?

A journalist from a local news channel in Punjab recently questioned me about the growing commercialisation of Indian cricket
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A journalist from a local news channel in Punjab recently questioned me about the growing commercialisation of Indian cricket. "Isn't it killing the game? Aren't 10 different logos on a player's jersey crass?" he asked. His cameraman zoomed in embarrassingly close, mike shoved right into my face. The rest of his coterie promptly pulled out their pens in anticipation of a juicy byte that would make tomorrow's headlines.

It may not be an earth-shattering, news-generating question, and my answer was run of the mill, but somehow it is a favourite among the press. As a cricketer, one almost feels like a criminal facing a media trial for a crime you haven't committed. But since you are one of the "beneficiaries", however small and indirect that benefit may be, you ought to stand up and defend your case or be ready to be crucified the following day. You feel trapped, wanting to avoid these questions, but that's exactly what the media wants. It's imperative to stay firm and present your case. Here's my take on the matter, perhaps not news worthy, but worth a read.

Do you know that there are about 550 first-class cricketers in India and about 60% of them don't have jobs outside of the game? Their only source of income is the five-month window in winter, in which they represent their respective states and make just enough to last the remaining seven months.

If you add the players who are on the periphery and make the cut only once in a while, the numbers swell to the thousands. Since corporate houses or banks do not have positions for even the top players in Indian cricket, it needs no mentioning that the players in the second tier find it tough to make ends meet. Their only hope is to make it to their Ranji team one day and then the lucrative IPL, and perhaps don India colours later. Till then they need to bear all their expenses themselves. And trust me, playing cricket in India is still an expensive hobby.

Do people who vociferously condemn the money in cricket ever take time out to fight for the cause of these unemployed athletes? When people talk about certain players making millions in the IPL, do they ever think of the ones who are putting their livelihoods at stake to pursue the sport?

In fact, most of those who have ended up making a lot of money from cricket have gone through the same ordeal while growing up. I'm not sure if many people know that Munaf Patel, before playing for the country, worked in a factory for Rs 50 a day, and that he bowled barefoot during his formative years, since buying bowling shoes was a luxury he couldn't afford. Indian cricket is full of such stories, but we only get to hear the ones about those who make it to the top.

I recently met a first-class cricketer who is a regular in his state side, which means that he's talented. He bowls reasonably quick and has earned the bragging rights of having dismissed Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag in a List-A match.

The tale of his struggle outside the five months of first-class cricket moved me. He lives in the mountains and looks after his apple farm when the cricket season is not on. His off-season job profile is to supervise the work force that he hires on daily wages. Since that money is paid at the end of the day after looking at the quality of the work accomplished, he needs to be on his toes all day. And on days when work force is not at its optimum strength, he needs to fill in himself. The thought of off-season cricket training doesn't even cross his mind. A decent ground and gym are a couple of hours' drive away. The only way for him to keep fit is by running or carrying heavy boxes of apples on his back, up and down the mountains. He doesn't have a "proper" job, and doesn't harbour hopes of getting one.

People who know the business of apple farming will know that it takes only one unseasonal shower to ruin a crop. There are many like this player in Indian first-class cricket. Is it still fair to assume that money in cricket is a bad thing?

Some may just shrug it off by saying that the bigger the risk, the better the reward. But many don't make it to the top, and putting everything on the line doesn't always guarantee a good life. Gamblers don't always hit the jackpot. You've got to be talented enough to reach a certain level to demand perks. Just that in cricket the amount of talent isn't always proportional to the rewards you get. There are things like luck and injury involved, which are beyond anyone's control. Also, one needs to remember that the life of a professional cricketer can be drastically cut short by a poor season or an injury. He must make a lot of hay while the sun is shining, for the sun sets a lot sooner on a professional sportsperson's career than it does on those of other professionals.

Do the naysayers realise that some of the perks trickle down to the ones who need them most only because there are so many logos on the Indian/IPL jerseys, and because there are still takers for the TV rights? The big fish may still survive if that pool dries up, but the others will simply die.

Last but not least, the newspapers and news channels these journalists work for make money selling advertisements. The audience may detest the ads but they are a must for the commercial viability of the news medium. If people in the media don't complain about the fact that their salaries are derived from this same commercialisation, they shouldn't grudge a sportsperson his earnings either. In any case, there are only a handful of cricketers who are making megabucks; the rest are still trying very hard to pursue their dream without burning holes in their pockets.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PKS on December 1, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Nice article by Aakash, In 70's my experienced with former Ranji Player played more than 15 years of Ranji Trophy who was very gentleman one day came up to me and ask for 0.75 paisa to pay the rental cycle rent for a day not only that he can't even afford a extra white shirt to play for club Cricket.

  • thomas on November 25, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Aakash As usual well written article. Only question do we need 550 cricketers? Even today there is not one single spinner who is decent enough to challenge a Ashwin who is not doing an average job....

  • ATUL DEO on November 23, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Everything is fine till you look at it with envy. As time passes the form changes, but the talk and critic never. I only see progress. Every progress has a new form. IPL is a new form, a new avataar. Tomorrow some new and speedy form of cricket will work. The world had the same thing to say when Kerry Packer arrived on the scene. The world has the same thing to say today, accept its BCCI now.

  • pramesabh on November 18, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Dear Akash,

    Well thought and presented. But I think that lust for extra money through IPL has deprived India's first class cricket of its charm and competitiveness. Some of the best performers in First class cricket have preferred to preserve themselves for that 45 day IPL stint and have been guilty of being mere passengers in their state sides ,just doing enough to retain their places and their IPL contract. Indian cricket will benefit a lot the day this attitude of a handful of " Lucky " cricketers changes !!!

  • Giri Sampath on November 8, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    When Cable TV came into existence, in the mid 90s, there were good Sport Channels to watch Cricket with few ads in between, now the trend is, there are good advertisement channels to watch few hours of Cricket in between. The most pressed button on my TV remote while watching Cricket is the Mute button. Cricket Commercialization is at its peak and won't sustain for long. IPL is a curse for Cricket, after few years real cricket lovers would have get DVD recordings of past games to get the real excitement and aesthetics of real cricket.

  • Sudhakar G on November 3, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    True that cricket needs money - especially so for the second/third rung cricketers who may have sacrificed all their lives in the hope of making it big some day. But this trickle does not seem to happen. Rich getting richer and poor getting poorer seems to be the norm. This balance is what nay sayers like me would like to see being corrected. I can't talk about other countries.., but for India Cricket Commercialization equates to IPL and in my honest opinion, this has done more damage to Indian cricket than anything else over the last 10 years! Millions are spent on post-match-IPL dinners in the name of "commercialization" and it has brought out the worst out of otherwise hard-working cricketers. Ironically it is the same media that questions commercialization which tries to capitalize by sensationalizing cricketers stories!! The whole system seems so corrupt, non-transparent and leading to one mistake to another. This overkill of commercialization (at least IPL) must be stopped please

  • Anonymous on November 2, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Dude Aakash, you are in one heck of a form as a writer...

  • Deepak Shah on November 1, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    When I go to work, I think about doing the best for my company, so that they reward me financially. So that I can provide for my family. Exactly in the same way, a cricketer at any level will try and do the best for his team, and hope that it will translate into financial rewards for him eventually. It is easy for those of us who have other jobs to criticize cricketers for "thinking only about money". But isn't that what we do? We don't have any altruistic reasons for going to work, do we? I can think of players like Ramnath Parkar, Santosh Saxena, Kulamani Parida, etc....who would have benefited so much if cricket had been commericialized in their days. Even cricketers like Don Bradman wanted to ensure they had financial stability before anything else (he missed the first test of the bodyline series because of a contract dispute). Or going further back, the great Sydney Barnes chose to play minor counties because it paid him better.

  • Deepak Shah on November 1, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    I am a big fan of your perspective on Indian cricket, and this is one of the best pieces you have written. I completely agree with the points you make, and believe that those who blame commercialization of the sport for the bad performance of the Indian team are missing a point. Cricket is not a game for 11 to play and millions to enjoy watching those special 11 players. It is a vocation, a job for hard-working thousands who have but just a few years to provide for their families. The cricketers, the coaches, the support staff, the groundsmen, the maalis.....all of them deserve to make money just as the rest of us do in our chosen vocation. If that means that someone wants to sacrifice playing for the country in order to play for a high-paid job with an IPL team, so be it. That is a choice for them to make. And not for us to judge. I don't doubt that those who make the highest honour of playing for their country always give their best. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you dont

  • Ap on October 31, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Dear Gulu, You missed "Siddharth". "Akash", "Samir" and "Sid" would complete what "Dil Chahta hai"!!

  • PKS on December 1, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Nice article by Aakash, In 70's my experienced with former Ranji Player played more than 15 years of Ranji Trophy who was very gentleman one day came up to me and ask for 0.75 paisa to pay the rental cycle rent for a day not only that he can't even afford a extra white shirt to play for club Cricket.

  • thomas on November 25, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Aakash As usual well written article. Only question do we need 550 cricketers? Even today there is not one single spinner who is decent enough to challenge a Ashwin who is not doing an average job....

  • ATUL DEO on November 23, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Everything is fine till you look at it with envy. As time passes the form changes, but the talk and critic never. I only see progress. Every progress has a new form. IPL is a new form, a new avataar. Tomorrow some new and speedy form of cricket will work. The world had the same thing to say when Kerry Packer arrived on the scene. The world has the same thing to say today, accept its BCCI now.

  • pramesabh on November 18, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Dear Akash,

    Well thought and presented. But I think that lust for extra money through IPL has deprived India's first class cricket of its charm and competitiveness. Some of the best performers in First class cricket have preferred to preserve themselves for that 45 day IPL stint and have been guilty of being mere passengers in their state sides ,just doing enough to retain their places and their IPL contract. Indian cricket will benefit a lot the day this attitude of a handful of " Lucky " cricketers changes !!!

  • Giri Sampath on November 8, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    When Cable TV came into existence, in the mid 90s, there were good Sport Channels to watch Cricket with few ads in between, now the trend is, there are good advertisement channels to watch few hours of Cricket in between. The most pressed button on my TV remote while watching Cricket is the Mute button. Cricket Commercialization is at its peak and won't sustain for long. IPL is a curse for Cricket, after few years real cricket lovers would have get DVD recordings of past games to get the real excitement and aesthetics of real cricket.

  • Sudhakar G on November 3, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    True that cricket needs money - especially so for the second/third rung cricketers who may have sacrificed all their lives in the hope of making it big some day. But this trickle does not seem to happen. Rich getting richer and poor getting poorer seems to be the norm. This balance is what nay sayers like me would like to see being corrected. I can't talk about other countries.., but for India Cricket Commercialization equates to IPL and in my honest opinion, this has done more damage to Indian cricket than anything else over the last 10 years! Millions are spent on post-match-IPL dinners in the name of "commercialization" and it has brought out the worst out of otherwise hard-working cricketers. Ironically it is the same media that questions commercialization which tries to capitalize by sensationalizing cricketers stories!! The whole system seems so corrupt, non-transparent and leading to one mistake to another. This overkill of commercialization (at least IPL) must be stopped please

  • Anonymous on November 2, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Dude Aakash, you are in one heck of a form as a writer...

  • Deepak Shah on November 1, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    When I go to work, I think about doing the best for my company, so that they reward me financially. So that I can provide for my family. Exactly in the same way, a cricketer at any level will try and do the best for his team, and hope that it will translate into financial rewards for him eventually. It is easy for those of us who have other jobs to criticize cricketers for "thinking only about money". But isn't that what we do? We don't have any altruistic reasons for going to work, do we? I can think of players like Ramnath Parkar, Santosh Saxena, Kulamani Parida, etc....who would have benefited so much if cricket had been commericialized in their days. Even cricketers like Don Bradman wanted to ensure they had financial stability before anything else (he missed the first test of the bodyline series because of a contract dispute). Or going further back, the great Sydney Barnes chose to play minor counties because it paid him better.

  • Deepak Shah on November 1, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    I am a big fan of your perspective on Indian cricket, and this is one of the best pieces you have written. I completely agree with the points you make, and believe that those who blame commercialization of the sport for the bad performance of the Indian team are missing a point. Cricket is not a game for 11 to play and millions to enjoy watching those special 11 players. It is a vocation, a job for hard-working thousands who have but just a few years to provide for their families. The cricketers, the coaches, the support staff, the groundsmen, the maalis.....all of them deserve to make money just as the rest of us do in our chosen vocation. If that means that someone wants to sacrifice playing for the country in order to play for a high-paid job with an IPL team, so be it. That is a choice for them to make. And not for us to judge. I don't doubt that those who make the highest honour of playing for their country always give their best. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you dont

  • Ap on October 31, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Dear Gulu, You missed "Siddharth". "Akash", "Samir" and "Sid" would complete what "Dil Chahta hai"!!

  • Biggus on October 30, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    I see Ravi Shastri amd Sunil Gavaskar have some competition in the 'sucking up to the BCCI' stakes. Your future is now well provided for I'm sure. All aboard the gravy train, "Toot toot".

  • Praxis on October 30, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    There is no grudge held against cricketers for earning too much money. I feel like the cricketers are asked these questions since they make the most media appearances in this game. Fans demand the work-ethics, dedication from the cricketers, in sub-continent defeats aren't taken very sportingly.

    Recently, this mass commercialization has turned this sport into a circus show. This opinion is irrespective of being test enthusiast or a T20 fan. The money comes from the people, be it sponsorship, TV rights, ticket sales or whatever. Fans will demand answers, journalists will ask questions.

    The struggle with life or the lack of chances isn't with these few thousand cricketers only. Millions in sub-continent face the same.

  • Arun Bhatt on October 30, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Another good article by Akash Chopra. There are thousands of first class cricketers who fall by the wayside despite risking their careers. What needs to be highlighted is that if they do not make a transition to the next level by the mid-twenties then even their first class careers are at stake in the hands of whimsical selectionpolicies at state level. However, instead of the 'trickle down approach' what needs to be done is to ensure that a first class cricketer can earn his livelihood from the game itself. BCCI must invest a lot more at this level and maybe extend the contract system to these players as well.

  • venkatt on October 30, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Akash, for a change you are off the mark. Money in itself is not unfair, but it is the skewed distribution of those riches, where the mediocre are paid millions in the IPL and the talented Ranji Trophy Cricketer( like the apple farmer you mentioned) are left to fend for themselves in the off-season which is unfair.

  • milton on October 29, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    If indeed cricket (or for that matter any sport) has to be commercialized, we must remove the monopoly that runs the game and make it competitive, just as it is for the news media. Sure, the news media runs on ad support, but then we have multiple entities chasing the ad. Let it also be so for cricket. Let all sports feds register as corporate entities with the ROC and undergo the same compliance as any other business proposition.

  • ARad on October 29, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Good comments, Keith. One should not sacrifice the game in pursuit of commercialization indeed. People can be attracted to the game because, to pick an example (rather than pick on IPL), their favorite star is supporting an IPL team or because, by attending an IPL game, they would be in the proximity of a star/rich person. These 'fans', unless they learn to appreciate the intricacies of cricket, will easily switch to whatever becomes hip in Bollywood/moneyed circles next. As a die hard fan, I want those who commercialize cricket to view cricket as something also needs fostering rather than approach it with the attitude of 'how can I sell more team jerseys'. For example, a respected recent Indian captain gave an interview that concentrated on how the 'Baseball stadium experience' in US maximizes the owners' income which tells me about his current priorities. Commercialism doesn't have to be inherently negative but there are distressing signs of myopia. Golden goose needs nurturing or???

  • Mani on October 29, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Yes I do agree with you. How about allowing Indian players to play in other countries T20 leagues? I believe apart from India, all other countries do allow. Also IPL seems to help cricketers from other countries than our own.

  • naresh on October 29, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Sir,what u have written here is very much true and as a cricket lover we should accept it.

    But have u watched the recently concluded T20 World cup in TV,it was so annoying to watch the match in the channel because they showed us ads right after the match was finished. Particularly when India won the matches against Pakistan and other major teams they showed the ads right after the match was over. It was so annoying because we couldn't feel the winning moment and it was frustrating as a Fan to watch those ads.

    So commercialisation is good for cricket,but exploitation of cricket for the sake of money drives away the fans from the sport

  • Niranjan L on October 29, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Totally agree with you on commercialization. But it should overburden the audience and bringing them to a situation where they hate to watch it. These days there are too much of ads while watching IPL. One will obviously lose the interest. I have switched on TV to watch more of cricket but I see more of ads. On the other side BCCI should spend money for other players like state teams, and state associations should fund for district teams etc. This way we can groom lot of cricketers. We would have lost many cricketers because of money problems.

  • Qazi Hassan on October 29, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Only T20 should be commercialized. Test cricket should go back to the days when they wore whites, there were no minimum overs per day, no restriction on the run up of the bowler, and every other match was a dull draw. Oh yes, and when the cricketers played for honor, not money (and got neither).

  • Arjuna on October 29, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    IT's not the problem of commercializing but becoming slave of one black mailing cricket board. Football and other sports are much more commercialized then cricket but we didn't here any tilt to any particular country even it is producing major commercial or so.Hope my comment get published.

  • Avik on October 29, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Aakash - I'm normally a big fan of your writing. However, there is one naive assumption you're making here - that, more wealth in the game would mean more equitable and meaningful distribution. Cricket, like the rest of our economy, suffers from this acute syndrome where the rich get richer and the less privileged stay just that. Thoughts? :)

  • Madan on October 29, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Actually, the commercialization of cricket has very little to do with 'taste' or 'aesthetics' (or lack of sense thereof), but with overvaluation of cricket as a TV feature. How are broadcasters expected to break even with the astronomical prices BCCI sets for TV rights if they cannot commercialize anything and everything they can? There's a lot of money in tennis and yet the SW19 courts remain pristine green and untainted by billboards and the like. That is the mark of a game that has steadily acquired a large following across the world over the decades, much like football. The same cannot be said about cricket, which rides heavily on the obsession of one country with the sport and, more specifically, one player from said country at that. May God help cricket when the day of Tendulkar's retirement comes! At least that might spark a long overdue, albeit painful, correction in the value of 'cricket products'.

  • Gulu Ezekiel on October 29, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Sorry! That should read 'Dear Aakash', not 'Dear Samir.' My mistake!

  • Gulu Ezekiel on October 29, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Dear Samir, There is a fine line between need and greed. BCCI has long since crossed that line. Would appreciate your thoughts on the demand for huge sums of money from BBC and Sky for the forthcoming series. Somehow I doubt that will percolate down to the grassroots players or indeed anyone in the media. Numerous ads in between overs and clogging the screen with logos and 'timeouts' is indeed overkill as Keith has pointed out.

  • Rajit Rajaram on October 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Well thought out and well put article. The cricketer is the last in line to get his share of the pie (I am talking here of the cricketer who actually gets anything) but first to be crucified for making big money. The real beneficiaries(corporate heads, politicians, administrators etc who are well off to start with) who make a whole lot more, dont rate a mention.

    On another front, plastering logo's on the cricketer or boundary is fine but interupting matches to screen commercials isnt on, surely we cant be that greedy for revenue at the cost of the game.

  • Arunmozhi on October 29, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Yes your are absolutely correct. only handful of cricketers who are making megabucks; others still struggling.

  • Ajith Edassery on October 29, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Well any sport for that matter can be commercialized as long as country's cricket is not suffered. I mean, there needs to be enough interest from the cricketers to play for their nation's pride. This has being seriously put at risk by IPL players. Initially the damage happened only for India - now other cricketing nations are suffering as well.

  • amit on October 29, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Kamran khan is a classic example,he was believed to be a new bowling sensation in the second ipl,he did quite ok too,but look at what he is doing now.He is working in a farm for the living.This shows the sorry state of majority of cricket players in india.The thing is we only know about people who have made to the top,and who are earning a lot of money,but not everyone is a millionaire in cricket.

  • Siddharth Chhaya on October 29, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Nothing wrong with it. In fact it is a present and future of the game.Ranji players are now getting good amount of money,plus retired players too are getting good amount as pension.I am all with it.Just that too much of cricket is the thing to look at. :)

  • Deepak Singh on October 29, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    I would like to say it is working both ways. On one hand players are getting name fame and lots of money,on the other hand because of huge money they are adopting unfair means to be a part of the team.It can be safely presumed that they are doing everything except playing cricket because they start to think that they are super humans and they can do anything as and when they want.Selectors also fall prey to the popularity of these so called heros(ZEROS).As a result of which new talent is not recognised and given their due recognition.

  • Pete on October 29, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Isn't it wrong that for the large majority of Indian cricketers the immense wealth the game generates barely trickles down? Maybe it's time for the powerful Indian cricketers to demand a better distribution of income for their poorer brethren.

  • mogly on October 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    really a brilliant article

  • Keith on October 28, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    That is correct, but some of the short sighted commercial ventures are frustrating.

    Not showing the first and last balls of a game are bad in the long run for cricket as a spectator sport. Equally, a screen clogged with advertising makes me want to switch over to soccer. Karbonn Kamaal Catches make me doubt the authenticity and knowledge of commentators - again, in comparison with soccer, in which I can hear quality tactical analysis, which interests me further in the game and makes me want to learn more.

    Scantily clad cheerleaders may be great for the guy who wants to satisfy his sexual gaze within his hours of entertainment, but what about the guy who wants to take his family to a game?

    Plaster as many logos on shirts or on the boundary signs as you like, but don't distract from the spectacle of cricket. Commercially it's not a good move.

  • rav on October 28, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    Hard to believe its the same Munaf Patel you are talking about, who is or seems to be so lazy on the field, cant even bend down sometimes to pick up the ball off his own bowling, not to mention the numerous misfields we have got used to seeing while on the field!! You would think, for somebody who struggled early in life and made it through the ranks would work hard on his fitness to prove himself !!!!

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  • rav on October 28, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    Hard to believe its the same Munaf Patel you are talking about, who is or seems to be so lazy on the field, cant even bend down sometimes to pick up the ball off his own bowling, not to mention the numerous misfields we have got used to seeing while on the field!! You would think, for somebody who struggled early in life and made it through the ranks would work hard on his fitness to prove himself !!!!

  • Keith on October 28, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    That is correct, but some of the short sighted commercial ventures are frustrating.

    Not showing the first and last balls of a game are bad in the long run for cricket as a spectator sport. Equally, a screen clogged with advertising makes me want to switch over to soccer. Karbonn Kamaal Catches make me doubt the authenticity and knowledge of commentators - again, in comparison with soccer, in which I can hear quality tactical analysis, which interests me further in the game and makes me want to learn more.

    Scantily clad cheerleaders may be great for the guy who wants to satisfy his sexual gaze within his hours of entertainment, but what about the guy who wants to take his family to a game?

    Plaster as many logos on shirts or on the boundary signs as you like, but don't distract from the spectacle of cricket. Commercially it's not a good move.

  • mogly on October 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    really a brilliant article

  • Pete on October 29, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Isn't it wrong that for the large majority of Indian cricketers the immense wealth the game generates barely trickles down? Maybe it's time for the powerful Indian cricketers to demand a better distribution of income for their poorer brethren.

  • Deepak Singh on October 29, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    I would like to say it is working both ways. On one hand players are getting name fame and lots of money,on the other hand because of huge money they are adopting unfair means to be a part of the team.It can be safely presumed that they are doing everything except playing cricket because they start to think that they are super humans and they can do anything as and when they want.Selectors also fall prey to the popularity of these so called heros(ZEROS).As a result of which new talent is not recognised and given their due recognition.

  • Siddharth Chhaya on October 29, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Nothing wrong with it. In fact it is a present and future of the game.Ranji players are now getting good amount of money,plus retired players too are getting good amount as pension.I am all with it.Just that too much of cricket is the thing to look at. :)

  • amit on October 29, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Kamran khan is a classic example,he was believed to be a new bowling sensation in the second ipl,he did quite ok too,but look at what he is doing now.He is working in a farm for the living.This shows the sorry state of majority of cricket players in india.The thing is we only know about people who have made to the top,and who are earning a lot of money,but not everyone is a millionaire in cricket.

  • Ajith Edassery on October 29, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Well any sport for that matter can be commercialized as long as country's cricket is not suffered. I mean, there needs to be enough interest from the cricketers to play for their nation's pride. This has being seriously put at risk by IPL players. Initially the damage happened only for India - now other cricketing nations are suffering as well.

  • Arunmozhi on October 29, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Yes your are absolutely correct. only handful of cricketers who are making megabucks; others still struggling.

  • Rajit Rajaram on October 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Well thought out and well put article. The cricketer is the last in line to get his share of the pie (I am talking here of the cricketer who actually gets anything) but first to be crucified for making big money. The real beneficiaries(corporate heads, politicians, administrators etc who are well off to start with) who make a whole lot more, dont rate a mention.

    On another front, plastering logo's on the cricketer or boundary is fine but interupting matches to screen commercials isnt on, surely we cant be that greedy for revenue at the cost of the game.