IPL has plateaued but here to stay - Moody
Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody has said that the IPL, now in its seventh season, has reached a plateau in its growth as a product, which, he feels, will continue to be robust. Moody was referring to the tournament's resilience despite all the negative publicity and scandals over the years, most damagingly the corruption scandal of 2013 and the attendant court cases that threatened its future.
"I think there's been a number of things over the last few years that have potentially damaged the IPL as a product, but because it is a very good product and it is robust, it has been resilient to those external influences," Moody told ESPNcricinfo. "And I think what we're seeing is a quality product plateau and a show that it is here to stay. It is a terrific idea that was brought together from the day of its inception and I think it will only, if anything, have an upward curve going forward."
The IPL began in 2008 with eight teams and it expanded to ten for the 2011 season. Over seven seasons, three teams, including Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors have been dissolved due to ownership and financial issues. In addition, the future of Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals has also been threatened, the last two over the corruption scandal.
Moody said the initial frenzy over the IPL was understandable, with sponsors looking for maximum mileage and fans thronging stadiums with the launch of a new concept. Moody gave credit to the ICC and the IPL for doing their bit to ensure the tournament is clean and that the players are honest.
"At the end of the day you hope that anything you are involved in is policed well, whether it is the IPL, whether it is anything you do from day to day in any walk of life," Moody said. "And I think the IPL and the ICC are doing their very best, in cricket in general, not just in the IPL, to police and make it as even a playing field as possible. I think education is very important in that regard, and the IPL and ICC are doing a very good job."
Sunrisers Hyderabad had entered the IPL in 2013 following the dissolution of the previous Hyderabad-based franchise Deccan Chargers. Moody was named Sunrisers coach in December 2012 when the team was launched. He said the corruption scandal had not affected his side.
"Certainly with my exposure at Sunrisers Hyderabad over the last couple of years, it has had no influence whatsoever. We have been very focused on forming a unit and an environment that is a formidable one and an enjoyable one. We basically have a mantra of wanting to develop as players day in and day out. And what happens outside is not relevant to what we are as a group."