April 20, 2010

The crisis the IPL needed

The controversy surrounding the league is a chance for the Indian board to set its house in order
82

It's ironic that the Indian Premier League's most compelling week, cricket-wise, has been overshadowed by events off the field. But it is perhaps appropriate. In the noise and the din that the IPL has generated, cricket has often felt like a sideshow. From the very beginning, the IPL's creators have chosen to measure its success on the yardsticks of money, clout and glitz; and the attendant side-effects are now threatening the future of the league. There is no pleasure in saying it, but there has always been an inevitability about this.

The coming days may tell how deep the malaise runs and how far-reaching its impact will be, but for everyone in a position of power in Indian cricket, this is a moment of truth. That the matter was precipitated by two Twitter-happy protagonists lends it a touch of caricature, but the questions it raises about the governance of cricket by the game's most powerful, and important, organisation, go far beyond Lalit Modi.

The allegations against Modi are serious. They have been made by a stake-holder in the IPL, and on the front page of a leading business newspaper in India; each day the papers carry, in stark detail, fresh allegations of collusion, cover-ups, and underhand patronage.

But no evidence has been offered yet to back these, so that's what they remain, allegations. Government agencies will go about their investigations at a pace of their choosing. And Modi must, as he has threatened, sue to clear his name if he has been wronged. But it is now incumbent on the BCCI to not only investigate the specific allegations but turn the whole affair into a broad self-enquiry. And fast.

The entire system, and not one person, stands complicit if things have gone wrong. Modi's profile, self-created and obsessively nurtured, makes him the most visible target, and his brusque manner has earned him some powerful enemies, but who allowed him to acquire the omnipotence that he has been perceived to have?

In that, this is both a wake-up call and an opportunity. Certainly, the BCCI, and the IPL governing council, have men in their ranks capable of the task. Both Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, and Arun Jaitley, are lawyers; N Srinivasan, the board's secretary, runs a huge business of his own; in MAK Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, they have three former cricketers of considerable repute. But will there be the will?

In the best case, the IPL has been a cosy club. In the worst, it is collusion of self-interest. Srinivasan owns a franchise; Gavaskar and Shastri also have commentary contracts with BCCI and the IPL, apart from being influential columnists in newspapers; the chairman of the national selection committee is a brand ambassador for a franchise. And this is merely what is publicly known. Whispers abound about proxy ownerships, offshore deals, relatives and friends. Even more than will, does the governing council have the credibility?

It is likely that an expedient solution will be found. Those familiar with the Indian political system, and indeed any political system, will know the broad contours of this. A politician besieged by a controversy is often banished to temporary obscurity before the inevitable rehabilitation. It is possible that some positions and power equations will change in the IPL. Modi may even lose both his positions, or have his influence curtailed. But all that will be a fudge.

It shouldn't be forgotten that without Modi's enterprise and drive, the IPL wouldn't have come into being. That he was allowed to run it as an oligarchy is a indictment of the system

Nothing will be gained from merely finding a fall guy. If it is considered a good idea to carry on with the IPL, it shouldn't be forgotten that without Modi's enterprise and drive, the tournament wouldn't have come into being. That he was allowed to run an oligarchy is a indictment of the system. That is what the BCCI needs to address.

At one level, they must conduct a thorough, transparent investigation, involving professional agencies if required, which either allows those charged with impropriety or financial misconduct to be punished adequately, or walk away with their heads high. But more importantly, they must seek to establish a system with in-built checks and balances, where deals are struck transparently and accountability is not merely a notion.

Without doubt, the IPL is the single most significant development in the game since World Series Cricket, and the changes it has brought about have been even more seminal. Even the direst IPL sceptics will not deny its sway over a growing number of fans, whose sole interest in cricket centres around the IPL. Sports must take care of their followers, and the IPL has built itself a massive constituency.

But a far more fundamental question confronts the BCCI. It is an age-old question. Does, and should, a sport exist to make money, or should it make money to exist?

For over a decade, India has been a country in a hurry. Economic growth has been robust, and its relative immunity from the global recession proved that it has acquired internal strengths. It is a country bustling with entrepreneurial energy and ambition. In many ways, the IPL is symbolic of India's growth and the desire to stamp its will on the world.

However, to a great extent the IPL has also been overrun by its eagerness to measure up, in financial terms, to sports leagues that have been around for years and have had the opportunity to grow organically. Its value has been driven up by speculation rather than sound business logic. Everything surrounding it has been marked by excesses. And at many levels its growth has seemed both unreal and unsustainable.

Seen in that light, this is crisis that the IPL needed. How well it is used will decide its future.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • knowledge_eater on April 23, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    Don't kill the hen, if hen gives you golden egg. Beware hen can become tsunami and will drown many vultures and leeches with her. When the flood of tsunami comes only poor gets affected. Modi might be hen, you decide who the vultures and leeches are. There is more TRP of IPL ownership controversy than IPL itself. What a troll by media. Media has never learned then.

  • Farce-Follower on April 23, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Its a shame that Tharoor and Modi are nailed and that Pawar and Patel are let off. Just proves that a witchhunt orchestrated by the Centre and abetted by the media is going on.

  • Sundeep52 on April 22, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    Great article. This episode will be viewed as a vantage point in the history of the game of cricket. This can be used to clean up the system and push it forward. And I think IPL has emerged as one of the barometers of Indian economy - the sheer consumption it generates makes it worthwhile for the country.

  • bvart on April 22, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    Well said, "For over a decade, India has been a country in a hurry." Despite being of Indian origin, my experience has been that the current generation Indians (who are successful) are by nature arrogant and overrated. Indeed as the author says, "In many ways, the IPL is symbolic of India's growth"; I will like to add that its rise and fall is a harbinger of India's economic growth. The country and its people must first imbibe basic values like transparency, honesty and integrity before long term growth and success are truly possible.

  • IndianVoice on April 22, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    Good article! I personally feel that Modi must be punished if he finds guilty. He unnecessarily tried to pinpoint other team's faults and the double edged sword finally turned to him. Also, I don't believe that Modi made IPL successful. People in India make the cricket matches successful!

    Bottom Line: For any event to be successful, there must be a passionate audience!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on April 22, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    If BCCI removes Lalit Modi from his post, I will never watch a single IPL match again. Modi has taken IPL to enormous heights, and as soon as he leaves, IPL will become nothing more than a Ranji Trophy run by BCCI.

  • kriskingle on April 22, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    In that this controversy highlights the misdeeds in the Indian cricketing system itself, of which the IPL is a byproduct, this is a much needed wake-up call. But instead of being the cleansing influence, in all likelihood, this controversy too, will be "contained", so that the damage will be limited, and things will continue to go on as usual. And thus the story goes....

  • baz on April 22, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    A vehicle to mix glamour with sport the IPL has has taken cricket to levels that only five years ago was unimaginable. However what no one realised is the immense damage that it would the sport in the long run. Those who think that the IPL is a breeding ground for the next generation of cricketers is sadly mistaken. Anything that is driven and owned privately has one and one motive only and that is profit in any way possible, this today is the sad state of the IPL. Those who watch the premier league are fearfull that it will kill itseld with the over exagerated wages played to the players this is going to be the same case with the IPL. Common sense is one attribute that the BCCI has been short on for a long time but privatising cricket in the form of owner franchises is one mistake they are going to regret big time!! If this is what they wanted to do then why didnt they turn the current Ranji teams into a domestic 20-20 league by allowing those teams to hire players? The reason money!

  • Manush on April 22, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    When the First IPL game took off and when Laliit Modi was talking through his hat, heady and brash with his statements after the success as though he was the owner of Cricket and he was the ultimate , I strongly predicted that this fellow will fall very soon and that has happened now. Disgrace to Modi and he deserves this.

    Though IPL is interesting it has definitely damaged Cricket by diluting it with money and glamour. Controlled and well governed body above Politics is the need of the hour.

  • sanjumadhav on April 22, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    We finally see a rational and logical look at the ongoing scenario. What the bloodthirsty Indian media fails to see is that this is something that goes beyond Lalit Modi and the BCCI. The IPL all said and done has been fantastic for world cricket and nobody apart from Lalit Modi could have pushed it up to the dizzying heights it has reached today. What remains to be seen is if now, with the changes that seem imminent, are the BCCI and government 'vultures' simply waiting for it to fall apart so that they can rush in to pick up the peices or would they be looking at putting in place a more transparent, common man friendly system to ensure that what is fast growing into an excellent breeding ground for fresh talent is sustained?

  • knowledge_eater on April 23, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    Don't kill the hen, if hen gives you golden egg. Beware hen can become tsunami and will drown many vultures and leeches with her. When the flood of tsunami comes only poor gets affected. Modi might be hen, you decide who the vultures and leeches are. There is more TRP of IPL ownership controversy than IPL itself. What a troll by media. Media has never learned then.

  • Farce-Follower on April 23, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Its a shame that Tharoor and Modi are nailed and that Pawar and Patel are let off. Just proves that a witchhunt orchestrated by the Centre and abetted by the media is going on.

  • Sundeep52 on April 22, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    Great article. This episode will be viewed as a vantage point in the history of the game of cricket. This can be used to clean up the system and push it forward. And I think IPL has emerged as one of the barometers of Indian economy - the sheer consumption it generates makes it worthwhile for the country.

  • bvart on April 22, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    Well said, "For over a decade, India has been a country in a hurry." Despite being of Indian origin, my experience has been that the current generation Indians (who are successful) are by nature arrogant and overrated. Indeed as the author says, "In many ways, the IPL is symbolic of India's growth"; I will like to add that its rise and fall is a harbinger of India's economic growth. The country and its people must first imbibe basic values like transparency, honesty and integrity before long term growth and success are truly possible.

  • IndianVoice on April 22, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    Good article! I personally feel that Modi must be punished if he finds guilty. He unnecessarily tried to pinpoint other team's faults and the double edged sword finally turned to him. Also, I don't believe that Modi made IPL successful. People in India make the cricket matches successful!

    Bottom Line: For any event to be successful, there must be a passionate audience!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on April 22, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    If BCCI removes Lalit Modi from his post, I will never watch a single IPL match again. Modi has taken IPL to enormous heights, and as soon as he leaves, IPL will become nothing more than a Ranji Trophy run by BCCI.

  • kriskingle on April 22, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    In that this controversy highlights the misdeeds in the Indian cricketing system itself, of which the IPL is a byproduct, this is a much needed wake-up call. But instead of being the cleansing influence, in all likelihood, this controversy too, will be "contained", so that the damage will be limited, and things will continue to go on as usual. And thus the story goes....

  • baz on April 22, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    A vehicle to mix glamour with sport the IPL has has taken cricket to levels that only five years ago was unimaginable. However what no one realised is the immense damage that it would the sport in the long run. Those who think that the IPL is a breeding ground for the next generation of cricketers is sadly mistaken. Anything that is driven and owned privately has one and one motive only and that is profit in any way possible, this today is the sad state of the IPL. Those who watch the premier league are fearfull that it will kill itseld with the over exagerated wages played to the players this is going to be the same case with the IPL. Common sense is one attribute that the BCCI has been short on for a long time but privatising cricket in the form of owner franchises is one mistake they are going to regret big time!! If this is what they wanted to do then why didnt they turn the current Ranji teams into a domestic 20-20 league by allowing those teams to hire players? The reason money!

  • Manush on April 22, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    When the First IPL game took off and when Laliit Modi was talking through his hat, heady and brash with his statements after the success as though he was the owner of Cricket and he was the ultimate , I strongly predicted that this fellow will fall very soon and that has happened now. Disgrace to Modi and he deserves this.

    Though IPL is interesting it has definitely damaged Cricket by diluting it with money and glamour. Controlled and well governed body above Politics is the need of the hour.

  • sanjumadhav on April 22, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    We finally see a rational and logical look at the ongoing scenario. What the bloodthirsty Indian media fails to see is that this is something that goes beyond Lalit Modi and the BCCI. The IPL all said and done has been fantastic for world cricket and nobody apart from Lalit Modi could have pushed it up to the dizzying heights it has reached today. What remains to be seen is if now, with the changes that seem imminent, are the BCCI and government 'vultures' simply waiting for it to fall apart so that they can rush in to pick up the peices or would they be looking at putting in place a more transparent, common man friendly system to ensure that what is fast growing into an excellent breeding ground for fresh talent is sustained?

  • ambsmams on April 22, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    The article is timely. It is not possible for the media to independently charge anyone in IPL I or IPL II without any shred of proof. Even now, most allegations are based on reports leaked or 'informed and reliable' sources!

    The larger issue concerns the one-man show that most organisations in India display - be it business, sporting associations (Gill, for example) or political parties. Who has heard of the CEO of IPL? What is his role? And why do all decisions seem to be taken by the Chairman and Commissioner himself? Nothing new in IPL. Only this is the biggest scam with the highest stakes. That is why the ruckus. Else all organisations in India run like this. No democracy. We are democratic in name, but not in spirit. Feudal blood runs in us. Why should Ministers, CM's and PM's be referred to as 'rulers' by most? If the present issue goes in bringing democracy in the functioning of the IPL, I would be most happy; but I do not have any hope.

  • sweetspot on April 22, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Oh, please! India is one big crisis, all the time. Do we ever learn from this? Absolutely not. Why should we expect the cricket establishment to be any different? We Indians are afraid of asking any questions where big money is involved, no matter whose money it is. We are very good at thrashing petty thieves, but we celebrate rogues of the biggest order. How many high profile cases have dragged on and gone nowhere in our courts - plenty of proof that we have no integrity and no respect for the law. The IPL will run along not because it has been cleaned up, but because we'd be too afraid to destroy something so big. We're all part of the scam if we bought into this being some kind of great national achievement. Kapil's ICL showed the way, Modi used the BCCI and its officialdom to shut them down. Now he's getting exactly what he designed for Kapil. Karma rocks.

  • h.ravi on April 22, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    I think Samit has touched the right points. I too feel that Lalit Modi has been given super powers which he has obviously used for professional and personal development. IPL is because of Modi and BCCI cannot take any credit for it. Even media which until yesterday called him a hero and now are gunning for his head. What is media or authorities doing in the past three years? Could they not smell the rot early? When so much money is involved and you have corporates and politicians coming together to share the riches, I dont think there is any scope for honest transactions. As Samit suggested the investigation should be a comprehensive one and every one involved with BCCI and IPL should be investigated and who ever is behind the wrong doing - politicians, administrators, players, corporates, etc. should be brought to book.

  • ashikcbe on April 22, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    It's there for all to see. IPL used as a forum for black money laundering by corporates. What we see is only a tip of the iceberg. It's money, money and money. I disagree with Samit's comment of robust economic growth and immune to global recession. IPL is not the barometer to measure these. Don't you see so many people still die out of starvation and poverty. Dont measure country's economic growth by IPL, ridiculous to say the least.

  • on April 22, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    i think they should fire modi's posterior and hire Shane Warne to be the commissioner

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 22, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    As a wag put it... There's an easy way to resolve the current IPL flare up! Make Tharoor the IPL Chairman, Sundanda his vice and Modi the Kochi franchise owner!

    More... The IPL pays a fine of Rs 100 crores on some charge but actually for troubling the IT Dept; the CPM is given a stake in the Kolkata franchise, the BJP and the Congress in the other existing ones; a new UP fanchise to satisfy Mayavati, Mulayam, Amar and Co and a Patna one to keep Laloo & Co happy, international telecasting rights to the ICC so that they clear the way for a 100 day IPL window and don't make trouble and then... EVERYBODY is happy and all is fine with India...

    Now, I know some of you are really giving serious thought to this... That said, I hate it when we HAVE to talk politics and cricket in the same breath!

  • on April 22, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    thatsy,

    Are you SERIOUS? You are happy for cricket to be the same as WWE?

    I enjoy WWE but it's not sport, it's a performance art. It's not about the best man being the champion, or sheer will power allowing someone to overcome incredible odds, or moments that demonstrate the best or worst of people's character.

    It's about a script, where the most photogenic or most marketable are packaged as a product.

    If that is what the IPL will do to cricket, where we will see the next cricketing wunderkind "winning" at the expense of real players with less talent or bling then the great legacy of cricket has been betrayed by venal businessman.

    Fortunately, I don't think that is the case. We have seen that real cricket transcends the trashiness around it, that all the cheerleaders and mid over ads and closeups of Modi cant stop the timeless class of Tendulkar or the guile of Warne or the machine like inevitably of Kallis or the rising star of Kohli shining through.

  • spreddy1 on April 22, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    Everyone knows how much Lalith Modi was involved in illegal activities right from the beginning? Are we fools to believe that members of Governing Council (read Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shasthri too) were ignorant about Lalith Modi activities? Didn`t they have the guts to clean-up the rotten stuff the IPL and BCCI did in the last few years?...What about the role of Sharad Pawar? ...Every person in the governing council should be held responsible and the top management in the BCCI should also be accountable for all the stuff that has happened...

  • mac9ue on April 22, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    It is amusing to see all these articles in the media calling for a clean-up of the IPL. Are cricket writers really naive enough to think that Indian cricket has been clean all this while? The very fact that politicians like Pawar and Jaitley are enamored to BCCI posts is a neon advertisement for corruption. I think the real cause for the brouhaha is that the IPL is now a cash cow rich enough to be milked by the Indian politicians and people like Modi had been irritatingly restricting the fruits of corruption to only a select few. That is very much against the socialist principles of the Congress party, which has always believed in equitable distribution of black money amongst all its MPs and MLAs.

  • Alexk400 on April 21, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    I used to be supporting ICL but now i jumped the IPL bandwagon. Mostly because Lalit Modi is running it excellant. The real guys whose pissed off at Lalit is N srinivasan ( he must be rat in previous life) , shashank useless manohar.

    I am with Modi. Even if he resign now , he will join with dalmya , bombay , gujarat and karnataka, andhra state cricket boards support.

    Shashank manohar is corrupt guy , mainly he is a guy who likes to steal silently and do not want BCCI goalmalls get exposed.

    The real taxation should be at BCCI not at IPL. But congress Goondas sent by tharoor monkey and manmohan monkeys are working over time in trying to find fault with modi.

    It is almost like political witch hunt like Karunanidhi vs jayalalidha. :)

  • Rajesh. on April 21, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    This may seem out of place here, what I say but............... first & foremost get politicians out of the game and sanity will be restored. It will be, believe me...... !!

  • manish1020 on April 21, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Sambit, interesting suggestion abt transparent investigation by professional agency!! is not that funny? professional agency in India? Did we forget PWC role in Satyam? Did not government know what is going on in BCCI and IPL when even the kid on the street knew the invovement of underword, betting racket and all sorts of things in this?

    Goverment would action only when it hurts them and those so called professional agency would say exactly what government wants them to say..

    Modi has digged his own grave by challneging state power via challenging Tharoor.. indeed he needs to be cut down.. after all this guy needs to know he lives in a democracy and none can go above the state just by bringing some black money and glamour and commercialising cricket..

    Corruption as a whole will wait becasue when in India.. corruption is the way of life. Here it is not the question of corruption, it is the question of bringing back one person to relatiy and telling him who actually he is..

  • Rajesh. on April 21, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Good article by Sambit Bal............... but whether the IPL needed this crisis or not this was always bound to happen. With all the big bucks involved transparency was always going to take a hiding and inevitably one day someone was going to blow the whistle on something. It's another matter whether accusations are backed with proof. There will be accusations and counter-accusations, there will be inquiries and may be some kind of a action and may be even some heads will roll in the process but.................... in the end everything will be back to square one. Everything will seem to have changed yet nothing will !!!!

  • Razeef on April 21, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    The statement -- "it shouldn't be forgotten that without Modi's enterprise and drive, the tournament wouldn't have come into being." potrays Modi as a Hero which is not. It was ICL which had a vision but was subdued by the heavy weight BCCI. Please dont make him a hero. If ICL had the backing of BCCI..sorry no need backing at all just if they hadn't opposed it.. It would have gone to similar heights as that of IPL.

  • Hiteshdevilliers on April 21, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    You think there are transparency issues now?, wait till these franchises go public with their IPOs, that will be the real test. But your right, this was inevitable. In a league that has accumulated $4.13 Billion in wealth in just three years, there is bound to be some shady funding coming in. There was a report in the Indian newspapers over how the illegal market will be generating revenues in the millions for the semi-finals and final. With such controversy now coming to light, hopefully, this will make the IPL a bit more transparent. In reality though, the IPL is sponsored by the BCCI, which isn't a public entity and one which takes no public funds or trades on the public market. So where does this talk of transparency and accountability come from?? someone please help me clarify some of this.

  • BoonBoom on April 21, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    In one of the previous blog I mentioned that the way Dhoni struck two consecutive sixes off Irfan's lollypop deliveries compelled me to think twice and thrice if these matches are fixed. The ongoing investigation simply proves that.

    IPL is a perfect recipe of corruption and match fixing. The shorter version of the games make everyone keep guessing about the outcome as the results can be altered within one good or bad over. Therefore, Lalit Modi - by virtue of having an extremely cunning and criminal minded approach - made fortunes within 3 years.

    I can predict more results…. final between Mumbai and Chennai, lets wait and see.

    Stop IPL before it stops genuine Cricket.

  • kiranksl on April 21, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Sambit Sambit...you poor dreamer! You entertain the thought that an individual like Modi might come clean with "his head held high" and then "sue to clear his name", or that an organization like the BCCI will become clean and transparent moving forward...sigh...WAKE UP MAN!!!

    From the looks of things, albiet evidence awaited, there are too many ppl involved at too many levels in too many things and too much is at stake. If ever they get "professional agencies" involved we are in for a fun (and ugly) ride! But we all know that will never happen.

    Either you are naive (which I doubt) or you are smart enough not to sound like a cynic being the editor of this cricket website. I wish you could write what you really thought about all this. Maybe a book later on...that's what editors end up doing don't they?

  • on April 21, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    the first paragraph should have ended as....... "I'm completely pleased to say it" .. sadly, the cricket, the fans, the cricketers ...... everything is just a sideshow.. and it's not just IPL... the monetary yardstick has been the preferred device of the BCCI itself, over the last 10 years. It's sickening! This is the crisis BCCI also needed!

  • satanicoutput on April 21, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    Well written post. Kudos Sambit

  • Skywalker1977 on April 21, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    IPL, like the BCCI, has a byzantine world of its own. Transparency has never been its forte. Only now that Modi has miffed a few powerful men in the polity, he's facing the music. I hope the guilty are not spared but also do hope that this does not become a witch hunt against individuals who oppose the establishment(as is sometimes the case here).

  • on April 21, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    I guess this comment will yet again be dropped: Let Cricinfo writers come clean of their association with ESPN which has its own battle against IPL & BCCI. And that has got nothing to do with sancity of cricket etc - it is just media rights and money. Cricinfo's holier-than-thou is thus surprising.

    It is irony that Cricinfo criticizes IPL of opacity and arrogance but arbitrarily chooses to drop comments. You guys get transparent before throwing stones from glass houses.

  • harikeshan on April 21, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Nothing Wrong with IPL - given the fact that it gives young and upcoming talent a chance to showcase and rub shoulders with some of the greats. However, Movie Stars, Money and Politics feels like Sex, Cocaine and Whiskey. Its about time that the Cricket Administration comes clean or be cleaned. Led professionally by honest individuals who come in to office on merit and not clout - the only interest being the growth of Cricket. No personal gain and glory. Too Much of anything will eventually kill. Lets hope some sense and sanity prevails and the ultimate winner is Cricket. With the guilty banished forever.

  • Go_F.Alonso on April 21, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Like others, I'd prefer if cricket was free of corruption, betting and fixing and I couldn't care less for Modi. But, as a cricket fan, I really don't care whether these things exist or not - I like the cricket being played even if it is fixed. I don't complain about WWE, so why cricket? So some people make ridiculously huge amounts of money, let the Govt deal with it - catch the crooks or settle for bribe but the IPL shouldn't stop. I love it, inspite of the commentary, Ads and cheer-leaders. IPL MUST GO ON. Personally though, I could live without ever watching Modi's face. EVER.

  • deesso1 on April 21, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    Balanced write up.This was all waiting to happen.Too many too good things happeneing too fast for a poor country is not real life.The whole IPL as a system need cleaning up with funding only from local sources.Replace IPL teams with state teams loketthe Ranji teams and put them for private bidding by indian funded business houses.This will not only make the cricket broad based and make the state teams more committed and active.

  • arish.rajan on April 21, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Some comments seem to mention that the franchises are paying too high an amount. It is not so. The Kochi team has put in $330 million for 10 years. That is $33 million per year. At the rate at which IPL is growing they will be making good profit after 3-4 years. The 8 original franchises are lucky to have got their contracts at about 1/4th these amounts. they will make a huge profit. Finally it is only in IPL I think that owning such clubs has been profitable. Compare it with top football clubs and Formula 1 team. They would all be in losses. Billionaires buy these teams for the prestige and not to earn money. They run factories to earn money. This is a way to enjoy that money.

  • arish.rajan on April 21, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    I disagree with Sambit. There is nothing wrong with either IPL or India growing rapidly. There was a huge market for cricket as an evening entertainment. T20 created the possibility.IPL has done a perfect job to tap this huge potential. I am sure IPL will be a case study in the best MBA colleges in the world like Harvard. Lalit Modi deserves credit for bringing such quick success to IPL.Having said that the time has come for him to be removed.Power and success go to the head of most people.Mr Modi is beginning to think that as he has built IPL he owns it also. At the end of it he has to realize that he is just a office bearer ( though a very competent one) and the profits from IPL are to be used only for improving the facilities for cricket in India. More comfort to cricket viewers and fans, higher payment for players at a, better coaching facility etc. Also I hope IPL commissioner is given a good salary. 1 million a year is fair amount for such a challenging role.

  • gpcrish on April 21, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Sambit does a good job- but where is this article 2 years ago ? Have we forgotten - impartial, unbiased journalism ? Or have we gotten caught in the fame and flair of IPL, that we all cared less. I am glad that the tree has been shaken and many a shady deals and transactions will emerge. But my concern that nothing "TRULY" effective or "permanently" changed , happens. Each and every single individual employed by IPL and/or by IPL auxiliaries, have a vested interest in the monetary aspect. Is there no "common sense" about best practices? Isn't it a AMJOR conflict of interest for N Srinivasan, a BCCI office-bearer to have a stake in the IPL? How can Gavaskar - a member on the board given a contract to commentate? Where can we expect justice in the indian system? Blatant violations, gross misappropriations, unethical conduct to the core, deeply rooted in the IPL, but lo! after all the bruhaha , things will go back to the steady state of corruption and unethical business practice. Save !!

  • on April 21, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    contd 2...On the whole, this ongoing story tells that never find and point a thief from a powerful group being living under the ruling of that group. And also greediness should not be the only agenda of investments, especially when related to common public emotions. Support the society from the wealth you make and the society will support you in need. This is what Modi & co misses today.

  • on April 21, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    contd... This is inevitable in a Democratic system, where profits from a national event, like sports such as cricket, are shared in a private group with out passing any perks, more clearly percentages of profits, to local political parties. We should not forget that government gets around Rs 200 crore income just from this fledgling IPL. This is a very good source of income and any sensible governement around the globe will encourage more of these. But our's is trying to chop it off by insisting to oust Mr.Modi, yes ofcourse, IPL cannot be this huge without Modi's leadership. I am not in a position even to completely support IPL and its greediness. This situation of political aversion might have been diffused if IPL and its profitters have shared, atleast miniscule, their income with members of public. IPL has not donated, directly, to any charities or veterans nor supported good causes.

  • on April 21, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Dear fellow readers, Though the decision to raid IPL offices and investigate into all sources is not condemnable, the intentions behind this are quite dangerous. I was wondering, if Mr.Tharoor was allowed to take the stake in Kochi(through his front Ms Pushkar) would this have happened. This completely supports the theory that Congress(not UPA) is taking a revenge stance for Mr. Tharoor's exit. They want to show IPL is corrupt, somewhere, and hence, Mr.Tharoor might be right, proved. This gives the party a clean chit. And coming to BJP and all other political parties asking for banning IPL and nationalisation and etc etc rubbish, to my understanding, they are just taking chance of the oppurtunity to satify their jealous for not being a stakeholder of IPL and its huge profits.

  • Andre2 on April 21, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Just for your information. One of the leading and most serious French newspaper (called "Le Monde" - like "The Times" in GB), on its today's issue, has a full coverage on the whole page 3 (!) about the on-going turmoil in the IPL and the resignation the Indian deputy foreign minister Shashi THAROOR. The article is only about the money, the struggle for power and money with Mr Modi and the rise and fall of this brilliant guy (Mr THAROOR). And nothing about the cricket, because, as you know, French do not know anything about cricket !

  • ansram on April 21, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    I saw this coming. It was difficult to beleive why franchises would invest so much. Advertising revenues and revenues generated from spectators appeared negligble compared to these monstrous investments. I was thinking how the hell would they make any profit and everything appeared too fishy. Now the cat is slowly getting out of the bag. Should the IPL weather this storm, it will go onto become one of the most promising cricket leagues where money and cricket are in right balance. In a country where many people still find it hard to have three square meals, all the excess money can be used for the poor. Extravaganza on a cricket match is unacceptable in a developing economy.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 21, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Contd... The raid on the IPL and Modi in particular, is pure govt vendetta, arising out of the shame because a sitting high profile minister had to resign. It's clear that all the media channels which suck upto the present government, have suddenly gone hammer and tongs to get Modi, all with the govt's blessings. How else would one justify all the baseless allegations in the mainstream media? I can bet my bottom dollar, that not a single IPL /BCCI Boardmember's assets & income flows would be examined, save Modi. The media coverage on the issue is a sham. I wd love the IT dept to display equal alacrity in examining the assets and IT returns of all the sitting MPs, whose assets have multiplied manifold the past 5 years. My guess is at least Rs 100 billion of "unexplainable money" can be recovered from the 500 odd MPs. People watch cricket the same reason they love movies. It's entertainment. Cricket is real, tangible and relatable. Let's all keep the shady elements ( politicians) out!

  • Kashi0127 on April 21, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    I very much doubt if IPL kind of events will be "IPL is good if its cricket centric rather than money" as some one wished. You would not see Shilpa Shettys, Vija Mallyas of this world. I think the blame entirely rests with BCCI for allowing this to happen. When Kapil Dev attempted something similar well before Modi all the players got banned.

    Look what's happening because of IPL and its money - Sehwag does not want to go to World Cup T20 citing injury reasons. In future you will see more of similar things.

  • ww113 on April 21, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Another excellent article,Sambit.The IPL has introduced so many undesirable things to the game.Players who are not even mediocre have become celebrities. International cricket has become secondary.The IPL cuts into the criket seasons of many other countries by taking away their players.And all this money,well it had to have a corrupting influence.But as Sambit says,some expedient solution will probably be found.Nevertheless,it is good to see that these IPL guys cannot have it all their own way.

  • devpat68 on April 21, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Where there is $MONEY$ there will be Hunger for POWER/MONEY!! Corruption will also be there!!! All our politicians are extremely corrupt and certainly have no morals. So hopefully.... HOPEFULLY... the BCCI top dogs will decide against sacking the GENIUS behind IPL's SUCCESS. Doesn't matter how you put it, fact is; Without Lalit IPL would not have been what it is!

    Have to look at positives of IPL, such as bringing good aggressive consistent batsmen to Indian Cricket. Not favorites or Zonal bureaucratic selections!!! Modi needs to be appreciated for what he has done for IPL and BCCI. All in BCCI and everywhere else are corrupted, so its best to leave that alone. Tharoor was an ASS (I guess inexperienced with Indian Politics) so he had to be sacked. But Lalit is founder and brains behind IPL, can't even compare him with others, let alone Tharoor.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 21, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Politicians bring rot to whatever they touch and this is another example. Here's an enterprise that was sought to be created, so that 8 owners could operate in harmony. It was a leap of faith for the owners in Modi, who assured that there would be good money to be made after 3 years. All the owners were entering into the unknown zone on blind faith on Modi, putting in enormous money. Modi kept his promise and created a SUCCESS. The skeptics after the 2 editions turned into hounds wanting a piece of the pie now. How does one keep the trouble makers out of a group through a democratic bid process? Answer me. Trouble makers who will destroy the very unwritten code with which the owners operate? Of course, it is for Modi to set the rules. It was his vision and creation, brick by brick. The rats now want to occupy his edifice, having undermined the very reputation and "national feel good and pride" created by IPL. Is there another organisation in India which has done that in the 63 years?

  • on April 21, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    If cricket takes a back seat in the IPL it is only in the minds of the likes of Sambit Bal who are quite clearly blinded by the bling and glitz and hence unable see anything else. For lots of fans, though, a semi-final featuring Tendulkar on one side and the likes of Kumble, Kallis and Dravid on the other, is exciting stuff. And thankfully we will continue to enjoy our cricket while the likes of Bal wallow in the misery of their limited vision. There is no denying that this was a wake up call the IPL needed. But by failing to distinguish that wake up call from the cricket on offer, Sambit Bal is as guilty as those this article decries. When Sambit Bal writes of inevitability, it sounds almost like he is gloating!

  • on April 21, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    If cricket takes a back seat in the IPL it is only in the minds of the likes of Sambit Bal who are quite clearly blinded by the bling and glitz and hence unable see anything else. For lots of fans, though, a semi-final featuring Tendulkar on one side and the likes of Kumble, Kallis and Dravid on the other, is exciting stuff. And thankfully we will continue to enjoy our cricket while the likes of Bal wallow in the misery of their limited vision. There is no denying that this was a wake up call the IPL needed. But by failing to distinguish that wake up call from the cricket on offer, Sambit Bal is as guilty as those this article decries. When Sambit Bal writes of inevitability, it sounds almost like he is gloating!

  • cricster67 on April 21, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    To me, these are the sad days when a premier Indian enterprise is being ripped apart because it is not corrupt enough. 'Sweat equity' is the latest Indian innovation in bribery. I cannot disagree more with the author - IPL was a well-run league and does not deserve this treatment. It is Tharoor and his cohorts who need to be investigated, not the IPL.

  • knowledge_eater on April 21, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    What a legendary country, where cricket is being discussed severely in parliament. Haha Don't worry people. This is business fights. Costumers always get best out of business tussle. I haven't spent single $ to watch IPL. So, there is no loss or gain watching cricket. I just feel it for Modi guy, earning around more than 400 thousands per year, paying highest amount of tax to government and they still want more. Hahaha Its like Modi is honey and he is surrounded by bunch brown bears. And yeh I think his biggest enemies aren't politicians, they are owner of all news channels and tv channels, who lost their millions of costumers. So, no-one will tell you real truth. So, I hope proper people are assigned to fix this. Peace

  • Allan716 on April 21, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    The last two paragraphs hit the nail on the head. The IPL is amazing and although the purists and including some of the columnists on your website disagree, I find that it has done wonders for the young Indian cricketer and followers worldwide. About Mr Modi, a lot of us have forgotten another gentleman who made cricket in the subcontinent what it is today. That man is Jagmohan Dalmiya, he brought in so much money to the ICC and the BCCI and now he has fallen by the wayside. He disrgarded Modi's plans when they were put across to him several years ago. At the end of this Modi's head may roll, will it be a good thing? I guess so! Will it stop the corruption, I'm sure it won't. Modi did a fantastic job with the IPL, however, his arrogance increased when he pulled off the switch to SA last year. Please don't forget that this man has a serious criminal record and to give him so much power is a big mistake. Will IPL 4.0 attract so many foreign players? I hope it does not become an ICL!

  • Afta on April 21, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Very well written article. Anything in excess is poison and the IPL clearly proves that. I wrote a comment previously highlighting "CORPORATE CRICKET", that's where we have come to. Greed has no boundaries, that's why hell broke loose at the top. but at the end of the day everything will be swept under the carpet because money talks, even the tax department could be bought over..! You think the common man (fan) will be dished out justice..? Ask the elite super-rich. They have always got away with murder..! Oh, one more thing, who said that sports and politics don't mix..! Strange bedfellows aren't they....?

  • on April 21, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Well now every body will make a hue and cry but tell me what is the fault of LM? Is he dared to ask neqwest franchisee to disclose the name of the ....... Those who now accuse of LM are only because they feared him.Politcs always prevail in India lesson for every bro&sis is loud N times that don't annoy them @ URprofession.

  • chawlaaaa on April 21, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    IPL is a game for youngsters only. Without any solid display of cricket. Sixes, Fours, cheer leaders, glamour and fantasies - that's how I summarise IPL. I have only seen one game in this whole tournament where match between Punjab and Chennai went to an extra over. Some thought I had the pleasure of witnessing the best game of tournament. While I was thinking about match fixing, dilemmas, emotions involved and network of gambling mafia rolling money into their banks in the back end of this beautiful stage. I was thinking about stakes involved and only one-man rule prevailing everything. No accountability, proper governance or set rules. The man has so many stakes! Vice Chairman of BCCI, Owner of one franchise and commissioner of IPL. He has powers of disclosure, whether franchise bids or players bids. He bans cricketers through his Tweeter (Chris Cairns).

  • Scube on April 21, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Hmmm..the controversy has come up late by 2 yrs, but it's better late than never! Truth is often too difficult to digest, but if everything alluded to in the below article is true, then many true Indian cricket fans might die of indigestion!

    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main44.asp?filename=Ne240410the_indian.asp

    While Modi's CV might be as bad as that of any hardened criminal, he is hailed as a trendsetter when all he did was to copy, paste ICL and add enough Masala! God save cricket, atleast until Sachin retires from all forms of the game! ;-)

  • Percy_Fender on April 21, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    The more one sees Lalit Modi strutting about as if he owns World cricket,the more one gets nauseated. This man seems to really think that he owns the IPL and that it is a formula he discovered like Sir Issac Newton did. Something that the world would be grateful for. He probably does'nt realise that the ICL was the original which was unfortunately outlawed and that he has chosen to glorify himself with a duplicate with the money and the muscle of the BCCI to showcase the IPL. Modi simply seems to have no ethics or decency going by the way he can stab anyone in the back with the least hesitation. I am sure the tax authorities will get something to nail him with. That is when he would realise that arrogance does not pay. I am told he was seeking some diplomatic position in Iceland. Before this whole investigation gets over I cannot think of a better place for him.

  • nirvana_1959 on April 21, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    We are giving too much credit Modi. Let's not forget the original idea belongs to ICL (Z-Sports / Kapil Dev) which became very popular. BCCI didn't like it a bit and wanted to quash it by creating IPL. With official blessing and unlimited resources IPL flourished to the state it is in now. Modi, for his part, did market the product well but the product was already "sold" in the minds of Indians.

  • KingOwl on April 21, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Yeah, yeah. So, it's all doom and gloom, eh? This matter will sort itself out and the IPL will move forward. It will grow from strength to strength. I am sure the English are eagerly waiting to see the IPL fail. But they need to realise that such thoughts are nothing more than wild dreams.

  • NAARUN on April 21, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    IPL is good if its cricket centric rather than money.. bcoz of this the value and the true essense of cricket is overshadowed by the value and giltz of MONEY.. i really wonder how these business people have crores of dollars of money .. all these money suddenly coming out with a bang like CSK'S MURALI VIJAY REVELATION AS A BATSMAN ..INDIAN CRICKET without IPL will not die.. it will survive a bit longer than if IPL is stopped.. no one asked IPL. It came it has profited more money wise rather than finding talents. if indian cricket has to survive better ban IPL . AND LET DHONI AND CO concentrate on big ICC tournaments.pls cricket is passion of india dont kill it with politics and wealth..

  • Leggie on April 21, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Very well written article by Sambit, and I echo his views 200%. My only complain is that someone as sharp as this writer who saw this coming didn't warn it was coming before it actually came! It's also a reflection of the organization that he works for - Cricinfo. We all know how much World Cricket got impacted because of betting, but the site does promote "betting" albeit indirectly. We live in this very hypocritical world where the rights and wrongs are decided by "business interests", and I don't see a solution in sight

  • JesuDominic on April 21, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    When I think of lets say the EPL, I can only think of high quality soccer. Unfortunately, as rightly pointed out, cricket takes a back seat in the IPL. When I saw scrolls on the live telecast that said "call so and and so number to speak to cheerleaders" it seemed apparent that things were going way too wrong. Hope the real Indian appetite for cricket along with everything else will see the IPL learn from this much needed crises.

  • Daku_2000 on April 21, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    Instead, the emergence of the IPL in the last few years has revealed the pressing need to create a package which is both fair and equitable to the boards of the less affluent countries. They have developed players over a long period of time only to discover the prospect of losing them to their more affluent collaborators (which will also include the ECB here). This in turn will leave countries like New Zealand struggling to put together a team thereby adversely affecting their competitiveness, and, in turn, their marketability.

    The BCCI have also shown an unhealthy bias in only developing relationships with the more marketable and subservient boards. Although this may benefit their short term commercial interests, this will not be sustainable if other cricketing boards invariably fall by the wayside.

  • Daku_2000 on April 21, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    I totally agree with the overall message of Samit's post as the recent disclosures have revealed the pressing need for unbiased governance of the IPL. I would actually go further and suggest the ICC should be involved in the planning of any prospective cricket league as it is obvious the two were heading for an ungainly deadlock on the future tours programme.

    Also, the BCCI have shown little inclination in providing impartial leadership or direction to create a balanced platform for all interested parties in the cricketing community. Besides the half-truths and insinuations slowly being uncovered during the recent sordid affair, what has been irrefutably obvious is the degree of nepotism, self interest and inflated egotism on show. Those characteristics are not likely to promote the game, only the coffers of the interested parties and their circle of uber-rich and influential friends.

  • devenmakesar on April 21, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    BEFORE THIS SEASONS IPL STARTED I HAD POSTED A COMMENT RE: MODI, SAYING HOW BAD HE WAS FOR IPL AS HE HAD UNPRECEDENTED POWERS, I GUESS FOR OBVIUOS REASONS THAT ARTICLE WAS NEVER SHOWN ON CRICINFO, ANY WAY, MY HONEST OPINION IS MODI HAS TAINTED CRICKET IN INDIA AND WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.BCCI HAS BECOME LIKE " WHITE GENTLEMANS CLUB" . THE LOOSERS ARE INDIA AND ITS FAN. MODI SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONTROLLED TOO EARLY, BUT LOOK AT THE BCCI GOVERNING BODY THE POLITICIANS AND CRICKETEERS ( EX CAPTAINS - WHO HAVE VESTED INTRESTS IN IPL) WILL DECIDE FATE OF MODI, DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE JUSTICE AND THAT TOO IN INDIA? NO IS THE OBVIOUS ANSWER. AGAIN IN THE POWER STRUGGLE , CLANDENSTINE CONNECTIONS OF BOLLYWOOD STARS, POLITICIANS, AND EX CROONY CRICKETEERS THE COMMON MAN OF INDIA WILL PAY THE PRICE, AND NOBODY WILL GIVE A DAMN. SEE HOW ALL THE IPL OWNERS ARE RELEASING THEIR STATEMENTS OF SUPPORTS TO MODI. I THINK AS COMMON MAN INDIANS SHOULD BOYOCOTT THESE GAMES AND SHOW THESE VULGAR EXIBITIONIS

  • Garganza on April 21, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Not acting decisively in the face of corruption is criminal in itself and every member of the IPL governing council are individually guilty of complicity with the crimes committed thus far. Pawar, Manohar, Jaitley, Gavaskar, Shastri, Pataudi and Shukla have no reason to pretend to be nice guys, and at times innocent duds feigning complete ignorance of all that Modi has been doing for close to 3 years now. Any idiot can see that these guys are neck deep in the same sh*tpot. And any sane investigation must unearth the facts behind these pretenders as well. Unfortunately the institutions that have been asked to investigate are themselves outstanding hallmongers of corruption controlled by powerful vested authorities. With corruption cutting across politics, party lines and professional divide, it is most likely that we might see a complete cover up in the days to come ... keeping the old foxes happy ... sustaining a corrupt system ... and exploiting the emotions of a billion people.

  • popcorn on April 21, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    An excellent article.The game of Cricket has been forgotten - it's all about money,honey. IPL and its megalomaniac wanted to compare itself wth Football's EPL or the Champions League,but forgot that there is a strong regulatory body that oversees it.In the IPL, the organizers and regulators are rolled into one.Rules are made to convenience, changes are a dime a dozen, at whim,and checks and balances have been forgotten.if they must copy,why reinvent the wheel?Follow it in toto. Twenty20 is not cricket.It is a TV Property masquerading as Cricket.Cricket commentators like Staight Bat, Copybook style, Sunil Gavaskar are hard pressed to describe the bowling and batting - but he is paid by IPL, so he better contrive to give his views which we as cricket lovers, can only laugh at. When one's feet are not on the ground,those flying high will come crashing down one day.And so it has happened.Vijay Mallya,Shilpa Shetty are bothered about the money, not cricket,so I will discount their views.

  • reality_check on April 21, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Whenever sports is mixed with money, bad things are bound to happen. IPL is no different. IPL is unique in one fact that it was created by businessmen, is run by businessmen/women only for one purpose i.e. to make money. Players who are part of the IPL franchises are only there for money... nothing more noble then that. Cricket was just a side show among the glitter of bollywood. I predicted that gambling charges will hit the IPL sooner than anything else but who knows, when the dust is settled mumbai bookies may also be a big part of the whole mess.

  • nikhildevdesai on April 21, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    I AM PLEASED that this is happening. IPL needed a kick between their legs, especially Modi who was becoming too powerful. When will they ever care for fans, and their needs (food, water, etc.)

  • abhibane on April 21, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Yes, the BCCI desperately needs to set its house in order. But does it stop there? We fans and the media took to the IPL without a seconds thought. Have we, as a community at large, asked the relevant questions? As an example, why was the issue with ICL allowed to fade into oblivion? IPL was hailed as being the best thing for cricket and Indian cricket in particular, yet some of India's as well as world crickets best talents were kept from playing. Even if we were to fast forward to current hoopla, are we still asking the questions that need to be asked? Doesn't the entire episode feel like nothing but the brute force of Indian political and bureaucratic system exercising itself?

  • eire on April 21, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    i think the point here sport was created all these many years ago for one's enjoyment and the public's enjoyment. The problem now is league's such as the IPL are not in existance for this reason but rather to keep a few people rich,greed is a terrible thing in the human race and it has been the detrement to many other sports as the reason for their very creation has been lost. Also I seein this article the author mention India's robust economic growth,while this is true,it has only seen in the middle class' of indian society & the majority of people, the lower classes are still in their original plight. A correlation of current indian society can be seen in the players wages, with the mighty so-called international superstars payed literally 'millions', against the locals who are payed a relatively pittance. Lastly Lilat Modi has finally been involved in a 'karbon kamal catch', I'm sure his sponsore will be happy

  • tisatito on April 21, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Its high time conman like Lalit modi are booted out of cricket administration of India or else it will be another STANFORD like TORNY...after all this concept was copied from ICL and the same people would have said(KAPIL DEV had done a great job)If it was not of for the bad minded politics of POWAR AND MODI.....simple as that!!

  • GreatOne512 on April 21, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    In my opinion the contribution of the IPL in exposing cricket to a broader is highly overrated and exaggerated. About 95% of the fan following are still the inhabitants of India. Outside India, the IPL is followed by cricket enthusiasts. The number of new cricketlovers is very small. The IPL is only a mechanism to earn money. The exposure of young talent and the experience they gain by playing with top international players is merely a side-effect. The IPL is not good for cricket, the IPL is good for the IPL.

  • jamrith on April 21, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Let us cut our losses, and make a concerted attempt to move away from cricket. The demise of Test matches, the classical version of the game, has been greatly hastened by the all-encompassing glitz,glamour and now established skulduggery of the IPL. Let the Government close down the IPL, squeeze as much money as possible from the ashes and pump it into athletics, hockey, football etc., sporting pursuits in which India's position is shamefully low.

  • rtom on April 21, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    I guess all these things with BBCI/IPL becomes important as it circumvents the tax. Its good that these things have happened and common man like me will come to know what exactly is happening with the money these guys in IPL get and what and where does that go !! But i like IPL !!!

  • IPLFan on April 21, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    A fairly balanced article, but this part was not needed: "Its value has been driven up by speculation rather than sound business logic. Everything surrounding it has been marked by excesses. And at many levels its growth has seemed both unreal and unsustainable."

    How did Sambit arrive at the conclusion that its value has been driven up by speculation? Growth is unreal and unsustainable? So all those packed stadia and TRP ratings were unreal? What makes the author think so? Once you accept that TRP ratings are real, then it is simple to show that the broadcasting money is real, the sponsorship money is real and hence the franchise valuation is also perfectly reasonable. Modi may have overreached and cut insider deals, but let's not use this opportunity to thrash the entire IPL or its business model. It is very much sustainable and can grow much more without resorting to any financial gimmickry.

  • muski on April 21, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    There is an old fashioned saying that nobody ever got rich by doing things straight. Any idiot could have imagined that with the kind of money that was being ploughed into IPL, it could not be free of kickbacks or bribes or whatever you call them. Sharad Pawar has again re-iterated the fact that you can trust a high venmous cobra but not a wily politician. Where were the Modi baiters for the last 3 years?. With the kind of legal brains that we have in the IPL Governing council, do they think the people are fools to think that they had no inkling as to what was going on around them. If in fact they gave Modi a free hand to do what he wanted in the auctions, they should give him an opportunity to explain himself. Rajiv Shukla says no life ban was revoked. How is that Azhar was pardoned and given pride of place in many BCCI functions- never mind the fact that Shukla's own party gave him an MP ticket.

  • Achint_Cricket on April 21, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Does, and should, a sport exist to make money, or should it make money to exist? I guess both are important in a country like India, but minting an amount of money that India's steel companies, or other massive companies dont make is obscene. But, if the surplus generated in IPL is used for purposes of overall Sports development, like BCCI was once planning to, then IPL should be allowed to make money the way they want to, otherwise a penny of tax shouldnt be exempted for them. If that takes a thorough investigation, then so be it. Perhaps, the other aspect that does increases the risk quotient of Match-Fixing is the presence of multiple shady shareholders in a team. After all if winning doesnt give you back good returns, then losing can. We really need an administrative body that keep a close check on all, otherwise fans may stop loving cricket like it happened in 2000.

  • ChandraKS on April 21, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    "has also been overrun by its eagerness to measure up, in financial terms, to sports leagues that have been around for years and have had the opportunity to grow organically. Its value has been driven up by speculation rather than sound business logic"

    The English premier league? (Portsmouth, Liverpool debt etc etc).

    These anglophile journalists are absolutely useless, give them a British passport and send them to England....

  • JayPmorgan on April 21, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Sambit Bal has hit the nail flush on the head. This is a golden opportunity for a systematic overhaul of the whole functioning of the IPL. It is representative of everything that should cricket should represent. There are so many conflicts of interests as Sambit has pointed out. Cricket does need changing, but IPL is not the answer. Mr Modi speaks about NBA being the model for it , but I think it is more like WWE. We are not seeing the worlds best cricketers at the top of their game. That is what creates top sport. gratuitous shots of celebrities and obligatory shots of Mr Modi whispering into the ear of some nubile actress makes the whole thing vulgar. Mr Modi is on one very long , very big ego trip and definitely needs to be brought down to earth.

  • Kashi0127 on April 21, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    I always had a feeling that the whole of IPL is a taged affair - a big Reality Show of Rakhi Sawant style. The difference is Rakhi Sawant made no bones about what her programe was whereas IPL hid itself behind the term "SPORT" or 'CRICKET". Its unimaginable that almost all games have gone to the wire - there uis every effort to make the matches thrilling - not just in terms of Cheer Leaders and the like but also the "game" itself. When there is so much money involved, none of the owners like a one sided game. If its one sided , it will lose lustre. The Ultimate Sufferer - the SPORTS.

  • on April 21, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    This is sober statement amidst all the hype and personal targeting. I hope against hope that all ends well cricket and IPL emerges cleaner from this sordid saga.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on April 21, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    This is sober statement amidst all the hype and personal targeting. I hope against hope that all ends well cricket and IPL emerges cleaner from this sordid saga.

  • Kashi0127 on April 21, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    I always had a feeling that the whole of IPL is a taged affair - a big Reality Show of Rakhi Sawant style. The difference is Rakhi Sawant made no bones about what her programe was whereas IPL hid itself behind the term "SPORT" or 'CRICKET". Its unimaginable that almost all games have gone to the wire - there uis every effort to make the matches thrilling - not just in terms of Cheer Leaders and the like but also the "game" itself. When there is so much money involved, none of the owners like a one sided game. If its one sided , it will lose lustre. The Ultimate Sufferer - the SPORTS.

  • JayPmorgan on April 21, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Sambit Bal has hit the nail flush on the head. This is a golden opportunity for a systematic overhaul of the whole functioning of the IPL. It is representative of everything that should cricket should represent. There are so many conflicts of interests as Sambit has pointed out. Cricket does need changing, but IPL is not the answer. Mr Modi speaks about NBA being the model for it , but I think it is more like WWE. We are not seeing the worlds best cricketers at the top of their game. That is what creates top sport. gratuitous shots of celebrities and obligatory shots of Mr Modi whispering into the ear of some nubile actress makes the whole thing vulgar. Mr Modi is on one very long , very big ego trip and definitely needs to be brought down to earth.

  • ChandraKS on April 21, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    "has also been overrun by its eagerness to measure up, in financial terms, to sports leagues that have been around for years and have had the opportunity to grow organically. Its value has been driven up by speculation rather than sound business logic"

    The English premier league? (Portsmouth, Liverpool debt etc etc).

    These anglophile journalists are absolutely useless, give them a British passport and send them to England....

  • Achint_Cricket on April 21, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Does, and should, a sport exist to make money, or should it make money to exist? I guess both are important in a country like India, but minting an amount of money that India's steel companies, or other massive companies dont make is obscene. But, if the surplus generated in IPL is used for purposes of overall Sports development, like BCCI was once planning to, then IPL should be allowed to make money the way they want to, otherwise a penny of tax shouldnt be exempted for them. If that takes a thorough investigation, then so be it. Perhaps, the other aspect that does increases the risk quotient of Match-Fixing is the presence of multiple shady shareholders in a team. After all if winning doesnt give you back good returns, then losing can. We really need an administrative body that keep a close check on all, otherwise fans may stop loving cricket like it happened in 2000.

  • muski on April 21, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    There is an old fashioned saying that nobody ever got rich by doing things straight. Any idiot could have imagined that with the kind of money that was being ploughed into IPL, it could not be free of kickbacks or bribes or whatever you call them. Sharad Pawar has again re-iterated the fact that you can trust a high venmous cobra but not a wily politician. Where were the Modi baiters for the last 3 years?. With the kind of legal brains that we have in the IPL Governing council, do they think the people are fools to think that they had no inkling as to what was going on around them. If in fact they gave Modi a free hand to do what he wanted in the auctions, they should give him an opportunity to explain himself. Rajiv Shukla says no life ban was revoked. How is that Azhar was pardoned and given pride of place in many BCCI functions- never mind the fact that Shukla's own party gave him an MP ticket.

  • IPLFan on April 21, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    A fairly balanced article, but this part was not needed: "Its value has been driven up by speculation rather than sound business logic. Everything surrounding it has been marked by excesses. And at many levels its growth has seemed both unreal and unsustainable."

    How did Sambit arrive at the conclusion that its value has been driven up by speculation? Growth is unreal and unsustainable? So all those packed stadia and TRP ratings were unreal? What makes the author think so? Once you accept that TRP ratings are real, then it is simple to show that the broadcasting money is real, the sponsorship money is real and hence the franchise valuation is also perfectly reasonable. Modi may have overreached and cut insider deals, but let's not use this opportunity to thrash the entire IPL or its business model. It is very much sustainable and can grow much more without resorting to any financial gimmickry.

  • rtom on April 21, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    I guess all these things with BBCI/IPL becomes important as it circumvents the tax. Its good that these things have happened and common man like me will come to know what exactly is happening with the money these guys in IPL get and what and where does that go !! But i like IPL !!!

  • jamrith on April 21, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Let us cut our losses, and make a concerted attempt to move away from cricket. The demise of Test matches, the classical version of the game, has been greatly hastened by the all-encompassing glitz,glamour and now established skulduggery of the IPL. Let the Government close down the IPL, squeeze as much money as possible from the ashes and pump it into athletics, hockey, football etc., sporting pursuits in which India's position is shamefully low.

  • GreatOne512 on April 21, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    In my opinion the contribution of the IPL in exposing cricket to a broader is highly overrated and exaggerated. About 95% of the fan following are still the inhabitants of India. Outside India, the IPL is followed by cricket enthusiasts. The number of new cricketlovers is very small. The IPL is only a mechanism to earn money. The exposure of young talent and the experience they gain by playing with top international players is merely a side-effect. The IPL is not good for cricket, the IPL is good for the IPL.