January 11, 2011

The joke was on cricket

The 2011 IPL auction stood for all that is wrong with the league
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As the cricket world gasped at the millions and hundreds of thousands at the IPL auction, an Indian cricketer's text message described it all.

He had seen Mohammed Kaif's name hauled up to the auction table for the third time in a few hours. The owners of three teams (Pune Warriors, Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore) bidding for him were rocking back and forth with laughter but SonyMax (the official IPL channel) executive explained on Twitter that the laughter was not "on Kaif" but "on the teams that bid to convey "guys why didn't ull bid earlier. Took 3 auctions"!! " Kaif was finally signed up by Bangalore but his team-mate had seen through it all. His text read: "Feeling so bad for Kaify that they were knocking him about and were laughing".

It's what the IPL auction did this weekend for all of cricket: threw large sums of money at it, knocked it about and laughed.

Before the IPL turned up, the word "auction" was understood to be "public sale" of "goods" or "property" or "articles" or "merchandise". No dictionary contains the mention of people in an auction because in the history of mankind, the only human beings ever involved in public auctions were slaves. But surely that's being too serious, too square. The IPL auction was just business, private money changing hands from one bunch of people to another. The merchandise on offer was cricketing skill. So why go all puritanical and pedantic. The IPL auction, is after all, just a bit of fun, is it not?

Not if you are a cricketer or his family watching, either online or on television, as his name fell into the category called "unsold". A player said he hated that the auction was live, because his parents worried, not about his cricket, but about he what he was going through. The Sony Max executive's earlier tweet, revealed what those in the auction room went through, "Thoroughly bored. Preity (Zinta, owner of Kings' XI Punjab) and I were throwing sponge balls at each other! Yawn..."

The cause of their ennui was the list of names that no one showed any interest in. Some of those were - Ian Bell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sourav Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Martin Guptill, Tamim Iqbal, Wasim Jaffer, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chris Tremlett, Thilan Samaraweera, Peter Siddle, V R V Singh, Tim Southee, Morne van Wyk. Between them and dozens more there were runs, wickets, skills, abilities. All an auction does of all that is make you yawn, throw sponge balls.

The IPL's governors who were sitting on one side, included the Indian game's official custodians, maybe were distracted by hearing the numbers tick over, so the names didn't matter. Could have been cricketers, could have been horses. No wonder the owners were laughed at the end: the joke was on cricket.

Last year, an Indian cricketer had a simple question: why is it that players are put on public auction while IPL teams are picked through sealed bids, closed doors? Maybe because the auction is, in fact, a celebrity-infested reality show, made for low-brow television. The IPL auction does not really belong to sport, it is closer to tawdry WWE programming.

There is no respectable sport in the world whose athletes go up for auction. Not even in the richest professional leagues in the world. Not in European or North American football, not the NBA, not the NHL. The words, "franchise", "commissioner", "salary cap" belong to American sport which is what inspired Lalit Modi to rework the idea into Indian cricket. So why abandon its steel frame: the league regulations, the minimum wage. Modi somehow thought nothing of borrowing and adapting into cricket the most common form of player hire in American leagues: the rookie drafts. (The BCCI thought the auction was a good idea.)

The auction represents the event: too much money, too much self-aggrandisement, and too little respect for the sport which has brought big business and Bollywood leaping and laughing into it

The NFL draft is a highly watched TV event, featuring teams, fans, league officials and the players themselves. Teams select rookies over seven rounds, with the League's weakest team getting the chance to make the first pick of the best player available. There is a minimum wage and a salary cap. During the draft, the only numbers discussed on television are the players' statistics. No auctioneer, no bidding, no cattle market. The draft is a multi-layered and complicated exercise, but it can be translated into cricket. Apart from the vocabulary, why not borrow rules of fair trade from American sport too?

The IPL is, in any case, different from all professional sports leagues which are based around sports whose highest, most lucrative level is reached only by those with the highest skills. With the IPL and its auction it is exactly upside down. It is the level of the most simplified skill that has become the richest and so sought after. The auction represents the event: too much money, too much self-aggrandisement, and too little respect for the sport which has brought big business and Bollywood leaping and laughing into it.

To use this auction as an advertisement for the expansion of the cricket economy is to ignore the fine print. Dizzy salaries will bring stunted games. There may well be a generation of upcoming Indian cricketers for whom the hard yards will be most uninteresting. Who can predict the impact of the IPL auction on Indians once itching to be on the World Cup squad? Why bother with the grind of seven ODIs within a month, the weight of a nation's wishes bearing down, if the body can be saved for six weeks of Twenty20 in which 35 is a "great/ fabulous/ brilliant" innings and you're sprinkled with stardust every few days.

In late 2009, Rohit Sharma described what it felt like scoring 101 over four hours on a tough Railways wicket in the Ranji Trophy. "It was as if I was another batsman," he said, a young man thrilled to discover that his luminous batting could climb another notch. He now has $2million more in his bank, a BMW in his garage and he is 23 years old. India can only hope that he beats those odds.

The domino effect of such these auctions is already happening around the world. Last year, three West Indians - Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle - refused to sign their board's central contracts. Andrew Symonds, an allrounder with gifts teams dream of, is now a Twenty20 freelancer. As much as the IPL may put cricketers from different countries into one dressing room, this auction turned its back on those from smaller, less influential nations. To pretend Pakistanis do not exist in cricket is not merely disappointing, it is a collective display of cowardice from both the BCCI and franchises. What began as Lalit Modi Inc is now a BCCI friends & family enterprise. The self-serving elite of an already small sport is now closing ranks into a smaller, tighter circle.

If there was anything that the IPL should have taught the governors of the game, is that the league must be handled with caution and circumspection, its functioning kept at a good distance from its revenues. The constant flaunting of the auction cash and the muscle flexed when dealing with outsiders is not the BCCI reflecting Indian cricket's new-found confidence. It is a merely a bully showing off his crassness. The auction was the first act of the post-Modi IPL but he may as well have been in the room. It is not enough for the new regime to talk about being holier than thou, cricket-centric, but to also actually be and be seen to be completely fair. Doing away with the ads during overs and after-parties is good, changing rules about uncapped players within a month of announcing them is like having a "secret-tie-break" in the auction. It's nothing but same-old, same old.

The auction should have shaken up the rest of us, yet again. It should have been a reminder to those who consider themselves the game's caretakers to be more vigilant, questioning and critical of the IPL, to look beyond its purse. To distance themselves from its gravy train and its vast caravan of fully clothed cheerleaders. The IPL leaves cricket's stakeholders with a simple choice: foresight or blinkers? What do you want?

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    An extremely well-reasoned article, with which I agree almost in whole. One subject was missed, though, which has been most disheartening to me. I have, from an admitted distance, followed RCB for three years, watched the team develop, with some additions and drops, into a core that knew how to work together, created a style and personality. Now all that is gone. Only one player from those gripping, never-say-die sides remains. Players loyalty and hard-work has not been rewarded by the same from the club and fans will now have to decide whether to continue to fly their team's colours or follow the players they have learned to love to pastures new. If the IPL want to focus on cricket, they should strive to keep intact sides that are doing well. It took a couple of years to forge RCB into an entertaining and winning side. It's going to take another couple of years to turn this bunch into a team. At which point, we may have to start all over yet again, both as fans and players.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    The entire process of bidding is planned. So, if a person comes up early for bidding, he may get more based on the desirability of the perceived value that he brings to the team as a whole. Franchises PREPARE a wish list as well as alternate lists as the scenarios change. They specifically look for those who can come in as captains, openers, middle orders, all rounders, wicket takers, wicket keepers as well as bench strength! They also factor in the number of foreign players they would need - some would play all the critical matches while others come in at other times, given the duration of the tournament - tiredness/injuries/prior commitments, etc. The value of a player isn't determined just by his talent but the criticality/ expanse of the role he has to perform given the others in the team. If an unknown with some potential is brought in, it's also because he could deliver a lot more value in the future. But bidding heat can also result in overpricing, but that's ok!

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    There's nothing wrong with the concept of bidding. There are limited resources, a budget, made available to the bidders and it is for the bidders to best utilise the budget on people who will bond and perform well as a well-knit unit. There are various factors, including calls of judgement that need to be taken by the bidders, but then who is to question them on the use of their money? The player himself has the right to modify his reserve price if he thinks he deserves more. If he makes himself available for selection, then he should be open minded to play for any bidder, as this is a pure concept based on perceived value where every bidder has an EQUAL right of choice to pick up a player. Where a player has already been associated with a franchise earlier who also desires to retain him, then he obviously is not available for bidding on the table. Don't see a problem at all. You win some, you lose some on what's available! It's a fair system. contd..

  • POSTED BY papi11on on | January 13, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    What's wrong in players being auctioned when it's wilful? Players know what they are getting into. Whats your problem with that. Indians have a tendency to criticise as bad money and unethical whenever big money is involved in any form. Get a grip. And sourav - Who the hell will pick a guy who has a pathetic strike rate in T20? I guess all his so called supporters saw his performance in the last IPL. It's amazing people looks for 'emotions', 'respect' in business where 'hard facts' and 'performance' matters.

  • POSTED BY yakitrak on | January 13, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    I feel that people are missing an important point here. We are all forgetting what impact this kind of money can have on developing test-cricket talent in India. Recently, the emergence of players like Saurabh Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Raina etc has proved that young India is not very keen on playing test cricket. All they want is IPL action, and earn some good money. Well, nothing wrong in someone wanting to earn money, but the BCCI needs to ensure the money earned for playing test cricket is better than IPL or at least the same. Its disheartening to see such few talents come up the ranks in test cricket recently. All our 'fast' bowlers have been reduced to medium pacers (Ishant, Munaf, even Irfan), because that is the demand of the shortest format. I dont see anything wrong in the auction as such, since that's the only way to fix the price of any 'commodity' wanted by more than 1 person. But with this kind of quick money, fame and glamour involved, who would want to play test cricket?

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    @ comment by audacious: "Did epl affect soccer at all?" eeh? Look no further than England's abject performance in SAF 2010, the dearth of genuine talent coming through their national team now

  • POSTED BY ARad on | January 12, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    This is one of the best and most apt articles I have read about IPL. It is naive that some people think this is good because a handful of poor players are getting rich but where do people think this money is coming from? The franchise owners are not running a charity. They are redistributing the money that is earned from products which are marketed due to their association with the franchises or advertised via IPL grounds/telecasts, etc. I wonder how Indian middle class (and those who are worse off) are feeling about this hidden redistribution of their hard earned rupees. I am glad they are all happy to shell out a few extra cents or rupees whenever they buy certain products to support the lifestyle of the Pathan brothers as they earn $4 million every year for the next three years.

  • POSTED BY Sundar217 on | January 12, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Auction need to be made confidentially. It certainly affects the image of true cricketers.

    Its heartening to see no Indian players view this auction the way Sharda has seen. Certainly the likes of Sachins, Dhonis have the influence to change the way how it happened. Such a high profile cricketers are made to sell their dignity for these idiotic behaviors of business ppl.

  • POSTED BY Samgen on | January 12, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    I have read several comments here saying that players are not cattle to be auctioned like this. But my question is, do players share this opinion? I am sure if there is another auction next week, most of the players who were 'humiliated' will again try their luck. Most people will want to make a quick buck when they can and these playes are no exception. Personally, I would salute a player who takes the stand, I choose who I play for and represent and it would not be based on money alone. To me, IPL has lost its charm to a great extent. I don't see a reason to like or support a team just because it has a city name attached to it when you know very well that there are only one or two players from that city in that team.

  • POSTED BY jhhh on | January 12, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Ignoring of some accomplished players seems to be a political decsion, made together by the franchisees at behest of BCCI! It is clear that not all 8 or10 foreign players in a team can play, as only 4 are allowed to play. Remaining 4 or 6 are reserves. It is hard to believe that the selectors did not find Ganguly, Jaffar and VRV good enough to be in the reserve pool, too!

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    An extremely well-reasoned article, with which I agree almost in whole. One subject was missed, though, which has been most disheartening to me. I have, from an admitted distance, followed RCB for three years, watched the team develop, with some additions and drops, into a core that knew how to work together, created a style and personality. Now all that is gone. Only one player from those gripping, never-say-die sides remains. Players loyalty and hard-work has not been rewarded by the same from the club and fans will now have to decide whether to continue to fly their team's colours or follow the players they have learned to love to pastures new. If the IPL want to focus on cricket, they should strive to keep intact sides that are doing well. It took a couple of years to forge RCB into an entertaining and winning side. It's going to take another couple of years to turn this bunch into a team. At which point, we may have to start all over yet again, both as fans and players.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    The entire process of bidding is planned. So, if a person comes up early for bidding, he may get more based on the desirability of the perceived value that he brings to the team as a whole. Franchises PREPARE a wish list as well as alternate lists as the scenarios change. They specifically look for those who can come in as captains, openers, middle orders, all rounders, wicket takers, wicket keepers as well as bench strength! They also factor in the number of foreign players they would need - some would play all the critical matches while others come in at other times, given the duration of the tournament - tiredness/injuries/prior commitments, etc. The value of a player isn't determined just by his talent but the criticality/ expanse of the role he has to perform given the others in the team. If an unknown with some potential is brought in, it's also because he could deliver a lot more value in the future. But bidding heat can also result in overpricing, but that's ok!

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 13, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    There's nothing wrong with the concept of bidding. There are limited resources, a budget, made available to the bidders and it is for the bidders to best utilise the budget on people who will bond and perform well as a well-knit unit. There are various factors, including calls of judgement that need to be taken by the bidders, but then who is to question them on the use of their money? The player himself has the right to modify his reserve price if he thinks he deserves more. If he makes himself available for selection, then he should be open minded to play for any bidder, as this is a pure concept based on perceived value where every bidder has an EQUAL right of choice to pick up a player. Where a player has already been associated with a franchise earlier who also desires to retain him, then he obviously is not available for bidding on the table. Don't see a problem at all. You win some, you lose some on what's available! It's a fair system. contd..

  • POSTED BY papi11on on | January 13, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    What's wrong in players being auctioned when it's wilful? Players know what they are getting into. Whats your problem with that. Indians have a tendency to criticise as bad money and unethical whenever big money is involved in any form. Get a grip. And sourav - Who the hell will pick a guy who has a pathetic strike rate in T20? I guess all his so called supporters saw his performance in the last IPL. It's amazing people looks for 'emotions', 'respect' in business where 'hard facts' and 'performance' matters.

  • POSTED BY yakitrak on | January 13, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    I feel that people are missing an important point here. We are all forgetting what impact this kind of money can have on developing test-cricket talent in India. Recently, the emergence of players like Saurabh Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Raina etc has proved that young India is not very keen on playing test cricket. All they want is IPL action, and earn some good money. Well, nothing wrong in someone wanting to earn money, but the BCCI needs to ensure the money earned for playing test cricket is better than IPL or at least the same. Its disheartening to see such few talents come up the ranks in test cricket recently. All our 'fast' bowlers have been reduced to medium pacers (Ishant, Munaf, even Irfan), because that is the demand of the shortest format. I dont see anything wrong in the auction as such, since that's the only way to fix the price of any 'commodity' wanted by more than 1 person. But with this kind of quick money, fame and glamour involved, who would want to play test cricket?

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    @ comment by audacious: "Did epl affect soccer at all?" eeh? Look no further than England's abject performance in SAF 2010, the dearth of genuine talent coming through their national team now

  • POSTED BY ARad on | January 12, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    This is one of the best and most apt articles I have read about IPL. It is naive that some people think this is good because a handful of poor players are getting rich but where do people think this money is coming from? The franchise owners are not running a charity. They are redistributing the money that is earned from products which are marketed due to their association with the franchises or advertised via IPL grounds/telecasts, etc. I wonder how Indian middle class (and those who are worse off) are feeling about this hidden redistribution of their hard earned rupees. I am glad they are all happy to shell out a few extra cents or rupees whenever they buy certain products to support the lifestyle of the Pathan brothers as they earn $4 million every year for the next three years.

  • POSTED BY Sundar217 on | January 12, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Auction need to be made confidentially. It certainly affects the image of true cricketers.

    Its heartening to see no Indian players view this auction the way Sharda has seen. Certainly the likes of Sachins, Dhonis have the influence to change the way how it happened. Such a high profile cricketers are made to sell their dignity for these idiotic behaviors of business ppl.

  • POSTED BY Samgen on | January 12, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    I have read several comments here saying that players are not cattle to be auctioned like this. But my question is, do players share this opinion? I am sure if there is another auction next week, most of the players who were 'humiliated' will again try their luck. Most people will want to make a quick buck when they can and these playes are no exception. Personally, I would salute a player who takes the stand, I choose who I play for and represent and it would not be based on money alone. To me, IPL has lost its charm to a great extent. I don't see a reason to like or support a team just because it has a city name attached to it when you know very well that there are only one or two players from that city in that team.

  • POSTED BY jhhh on | January 12, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Ignoring of some accomplished players seems to be a political decsion, made together by the franchisees at behest of BCCI! It is clear that not all 8 or10 foreign players in a team can play, as only 4 are allowed to play. Remaining 4 or 6 are reserves. It is hard to believe that the selectors did not find Ganguly, Jaffar and VRV good enough to be in the reserve pool, too!

  • POSTED BY Shridhar_Malur on | January 12, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    The IPL auction is probably the most heinous indignity heaped on a professional sportsperson. However for a nation fed on a regular diet of depravity, the vulgar splashing of wealth and the absolute abuse of power is just another TV soap that we can watch with our eyes open and our minds closed. As regards to the IPL increasing the popularity of the game, the game's fan base would have endured even if it hadn't discovered those "new" fans whose enjoyment of the game seems to be severely restricted to gyrating in testosterone fuelled frenzy in front of the cheerleaders who for their part could hardly care less whether the game being played is cricket or tic-tac-toe

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | January 12, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @Veda Giri: you say "Simply there is no logic why Chris Gayle remain unsold". Chris Gayle needs to play for his country and so IPL teams are not interested to pay a foreigner a huge amount for only part of the tournament, with next year IPL is also going to clash with WI tour plans. There are so many foreign players that everyone cannot be accommodated just because he is 1000 times better than Indian players who get millions in IPL. Only 4 foreign players can play in a team and every team has enough foreigners that they can do without a Chirs Gayle. Will the world fall out on 2012 without him? Indian players get lot of money because they are "available" for all through the tournament and anyone can play T20 cricket, IPL is not test cricket to demand quality foreign players to be in team. Does this all seem illogical to you and many other people? I wonder.

  • POSTED BY FallsDown on | January 12, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    a very good article sharda. thanks for not joining our - dumb is too kind a word - newschannels and papers in pretending that this circus has anything much to do with sport...or civilised human behaviour.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    i sympathise with your sentiments, Sharda, but an auction is infinitely preferable to the dodgy backroom deals of the English Premier League. cheers.

  • POSTED BY hot_vesuvious on | January 12, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    The basic premise of this article, that the crickets were treated as a joke is good but the hypothesis, the logical extension to this premise, that IPL is bad for cricket is grossly exaggerated.

    I completely agree that the way IPL Auction was conducted, it might as well have been call the Great Indian Tamasha, but then what else do you expect when you have politicians, bollywood & businessmen running the show?

    But IPL has brought in a lot of good things to cricket too. And this article does not acknowledge this. In anycase, 20-20 is not serious cricket so anyone who is part of it and enjoys it, would enjoy the 'Tamasha' as well. Its sad but true, that a vast majority of us fall into this category...

  • POSTED BY ghtvnath on | January 12, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    I am agreed to the part where you mean "To pretend Pakistanis do not exist in cricket is not merely disappointing, it is a collective display of cowardice from both the BCCI and franchises." excellent article in a different perspective.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Sharda, pretty disappointing.

    Life begins with selection, thereby rejection.

    Open IPL auction has educated conservative indians to choose sport as a profession. We will definitely see more talent coming from the interiors of India.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Its very important to respect the game ! After a limit money is just paper !

  • POSTED BY perl57 on | January 12, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    Sharda Ugra, Who are you? Never heard your name. First and foremost, Paki cricketers. They are good, not world class, not exceptional. We have seen what an afridi did in the initial segment. Sohail Tanveer was exception.

    Also about all laughing and giggling you mentioned, these players are getting their life done. One good innings away from being capped and next season being a millionaire. Except that they do not treat me like a slave in front of them, who cares what they do at my back.

    Please, stop this non-sense charade and write good articles. Your comments on those who got unselected was apalling.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    @vverma, you have mentioned in your article that cricketing skills are being auctioned. If we go by your writings, do you think that guys like Rohit, Sreesanth, Dale Christian deserve to be bought at huge prices for their cricketing skills? Leave out cricketing skills, do they interact well with fans and promote their teams. The answer is no.Simply there is no logic why Chris Gayle remain unsold and Dale christian was sold at huge price.

    I thought my jokes were terrible ones, but IPL auction is most terrible joke i have come across in my life.

  • POSTED BY audacious on | January 12, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Did EPL affect soccer at all? Then whats the complain about? Just a rubbish article, I believe IPL will help those poor domestic players a lot. I grew up in mumbai and I know how hard it is to pursue cricket if dont get pick in national side. Way to go IPL, I love it, if you have it use it as simple as that.

  • POSTED BY salgado on | January 12, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    This is an excellant article about how money is destroying cricket. Although cricketers need to be benifited from the game the way it is done in IPL is totally unacceptable. ICC please pay attention before more criketers refused to sign contracts to play for their country in order to play T20 cricket

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 12, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I don't mind the auction, which is all good fun. I just find T20 cricket uninteresting and the IPL even more so, since the teams have no history or tradition. I guess it serves its purpose for those who don't understand or enjoy the subtleties of the longer forms of the game. I hope that in their natural desire to make money the players don't forget how they got to be stars. Cricket has been around for centuries; the IPL won't last ten years. Once it's gone, those young players who are rushing to cash in now need to be able to play the real thing or their careers will be over before they start.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | January 12, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    @Sharda Are you always this skeptical my dear? IPL is just for fun/entertainment. What else did you expect?

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    I think Sharda Ugra is having her cake and eating it too. When the auction ran, Cricinfo was the only site I know which carried it Live! And Sharda Ugra was one of two Cricinfo personnel covering it. Now that it is over, how come she has discovered its negatives so rapidly? If she is being merely wise in hindsight, what good is such a changeable opinion. Cricinfo has been perpetually at loggerheads with the IPL - hell, Page 2 evolved to rubbish the IPL! As for commercial crassness and all that ballyhoo, for those in Indian subcontinent, don't forget that the Cricket World Cup is around the corner. ESPN (the first part of Cricinfo's URL, and owner of the website) will inundate us with ads during, before, after and between overs. They will include good, funny and the egregiously crass! For a website to hold forth on crassness when they will soon descend to that is rich. Presumably Cricinfo would rather take ponzi schemers arriving with boxes of cash at the spiritual home of cricket!

  • POSTED BY sashwin on | January 12, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Don't be surprised if many Indian cricketers fake injuries to stay away from the world cup to keep themselves fresh for IPL. The Indian government should seriously think of banning the IPL forever.

  • POSTED BY thesnare on | January 12, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Offering loose statements bordered on "why not try this model", or "copy america" do not make an argument, Sharda. As recently as a few weeks back Cam Newton, the Auburn QB (college football!) was caught in a trading wrangle worht $180000. Same happened to David Beckham when no team in england wanted to get him- shamefully left the EPL for the MLS. What happened to the Cavs when LeBron moved from the Cavs to the Heat by dumping them on primetime TV? These are changing times, and I am afraid in the 4th year of the IPL you have still not caught upto it.Its like you want to use kerosene lamps instead of electricity.Both waste energy alright,but can you find a better solution?I tried to find one in this aimless article and failed.Cricinfo really needs to see if this article's worthy of a Senior Editor.4 yrs of IPL dissing and it is really high time you move on.(especially when you offer "valuable" insights alongside the IPL Auction,live!)

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | January 12, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Agree 100% with you that players are not cattle's. But if you can get the TRP of 12hrs of live IPL auction, I am sure it will beat all in its way. Even the GOD was auctioned in IPL season 1. "Jo chalta hai woho bikta hai". Thats life!

  • POSTED BY harryspooner on | January 12, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Sharda who is tat cricketer who texted so?? Good article. For all the freebies that the franchises are alleged to have received in form of power and clean chits for t stadiums, IPL needs to be cleaned up with proper rules for franchises to deal with their earnings. To sponsor school-level sports programs or even sponsor other sports such as football/hockey tournaments.

  • POSTED BY akhilhp on | January 12, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Agree... But the BIG question is what is the alternative? as asked by Harsha Bhogle.... We cannot allow the rich team owners to have all the best players (beacause they have huge money). Neither these are country teams where selection is obvious among the fellow countrymen. The most we can do is that the auction is not telecasted live.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    i think that india (BCCI) has formed some sorta friendly alliance with NZ, SA, and aus cricket boards. Since England have a very strong board of their own ( not to mention a strong media) , and ECB played a role in the downfall of modi, the bcci and ecb don't hit it off. How else do you explain players like Ian Bell [ who is in the form of his life], Graeme Swann [ in brilliant form for past 2 years], Chris Tremlett, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson being overlooked? s .. Ridiculous . Shame on IPL!!

  • POSTED BY crickeyt on | January 12, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    And what is so wrong with announcing how much each player is earning? It is their skill-set which is being paid for, you make the process sound like they were shopping for farm slaves. I watched the auction as I found it entertaining. But you were paid for commentating on the auction, so is it moral of you to make money from what you consider a slave market?

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | January 12, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    @Peter Sequeira: First, those who want to play for country will definitely aim for test cricket, those who want to earn money through short-cuts would always go for that, So what if many people go on so, Test Cricket will live forever. Is Graeme Swann announcing now that he would make himself available for IPL and would not play for England if their schedule clashes? It doesn't happen like you say. Secondly, most of the cricketers are Rich now, do you know what I mean? Does injuries happen because of IPL? what's the proof for saying so? ICC wouldn't take any step, you are knocking at wrong door for justice, if any necessary!

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | January 12, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    @cricketcritic: Nathan McCullum is an off spinner and good pinch hitter too. Those kinds of multi-utility players get more priority in IPL than Ian Bell who can just bat at run rate of 7, which can be done in the world in T20 by thousands others and only few slots are available in ten teams for foreign players. Moreover, Ian Bell has to play for England while IPL takes place, would ECB allow him to play in IPL instead for England. For such reasons, Bell is discarded and Nathan is hired. Can you please go through all scenarios and then generalize your theory?

  • POSTED BY arvind2802 on | January 12, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    You bring come some excellent and convincing points Sharda. This is an excellent article.

    However, the BCCI holds the auction to promote transparency. The NFL draft system would work if the base of the team is set and a couple of new players had to be brought in. Here, the core of each team had to be decided.

  • POSTED BY cricket__fan on | January 12, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    IPL is nothing but a third rate TV programme disguised as cricket. Cricket and BCCI in India are all about rich and the influential getting richer. No one cares aboyt conflicts of interest if the person involved is a "known" personality and has "connections". Even cricinfo is not spared where "contacts" matter, otherwise how can a journalist like you find a spot in cricket? There are far better cricket journalists out in the world and it is sad that cricinfo, instead of having quality has gone for someone who can simply appeal to the masses from India.

  • POSTED BY Jim1207 on | January 12, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    Franchise officials laughing about Kaif being called third time is a crime or insult to Cricket, says Sharda. Are not the franchises human and can't laugh, But when these rich owners laugh (We would never know for sure why they laughed) it becomes an issue here! So the domestic players take interest in earning money, is it a crime too that would affect Indian cricket's bench strength? If anything Indian bench looks more and more better in last few years only. Don't all Indians rush to become IT engineers which in this theory must affect quality of Indian professors and doctors. Internet has so much of advantages and disadvantages and a good child will always learn to know the difference. We cannot blame technology for spoiling people. Samewise, we cannot blame IPL for all the crimes happening in country. I dont think auctioning players is an insult to them as well, after all everyone is treated alike and the whole process is transparent when shown LIVE on TV which eliminates corruption

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    we cant expect integrity to remain in crciket with this process for selling. im sorry but the corruption behind the scenes has to leak out. at least wevve got 50 years of memories of good cricket, will be harder tto find in the next 20

  • POSTED BY indiawillwin1234 on | January 12, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    Any way all wrong analogy. I am in auction business, and know that auction is to find market value of services or product so it is absolutely OK to auction services of Player. If not franchisees would have kept more money in Pocket. NFL don't do auction so doing auction is wrong, is British era mentality.

    Respecting 39 + older guys and pay them becase they want money, is joke. This is high power 40 days event which needs physical ability. The people want to respect 39 years old, well I vote to bring back KapilDev, Gavasker, Bedi and all. They were great too. In NFL most players are discrded by 35 or thay are used as back up only. They barely get any playing time.

  • POSTED BY BabaKR on | January 12, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    Wonderful article Sharda...

  • POSTED BY rseth on | January 12, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    I agree that a Rookie/Uncapped draft is a better idea. The problem is that how do you decide what team is weakest when you dissolve them? One more thing to note is that whoever was in charge of the Live auction slipped big time. It was ok when the auction was not a live broadcast to use the terms as "Sold, Unsold and Auction". It was not Ok to use them live on TV. My advice (Free one too! Yippie) would be to have the auction visible on a graphics element on the Megacreen/Laptops/TV broadcast, with a team of CRICKET commentators talking on each player as they go by. Let the owners press a button to bid up on a player and have a timeout start after 20 seconds of inactivity awarding the draft after 30 more seconds. No one wants to watch the actual bidding. Show a small interview with the player after he has been successfully drafted (a prerecorded clip) and have the commentary team talk some more about him. Also, show this uninterrupted (Clips/comment add extra time) to cover owner breaks

  • POSTED BY sAm2sAm on | January 12, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    Great article Sharda jee. IPL and gmae and money all is fine with new generation being paid more and other blah blah. All i am against is this cattle/goat/furniture style auctioning of players. Young or old, all players must be treated with respect. It is an utter dis-respect to all (including greats like Ganguly, Lara, Dravid etc) to be herded like cattle in open market. IPL (read BCCI) could have implemented some graceful way of acquiring players. THis was the golden opportunity to distance thensleves from Modi style circus. But they did even more tawdry show than Mr. Modi. I agree "Joke is on cricket(ers)"

  • POSTED BY cricketaddict000 on | January 11, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Great article. I completely agree. The IPL is totally disrespecting cricket and the players themselves. Even the televised matches are flooded with ads and it takes the enjoyment from the game for the sake of commercialism. Humans are treated like things not people.

  • POSTED BY vakkaraju on | January 11, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    4 years is still not long enough to talk about ills of a sport and commercialism. The IPL still needs to evolve where the teams and management take time and effort to unearth talent and nurture true talent. At this time they are just trying to get the biggest names to sell tickets. They have shunned some big name foreign talent with questionable availability. This eventually will convince some boards to create a calendar for IPL. With international coaches and staff it is sure to benefit cricket in India.

  • POSTED BY Flat_Track_bullies on | January 11, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    Also Sharda, you found a way to criticise Rohit Sharma with $2m and BMW - whats wrong with it? We've seen it in Football - Pele never had the kind of money now enjoyed by league 1 footballer. Truth of life. If Rohit Sharma has done well, good luck to him. All you journalists are somehow trying to be messiah of cricket but IPL overall has made all cricketers happier. Even english cricketers who had doubts only 2 years ago and now in it. They all have families to support. So please stop criticising, test cricket will still carry on - and if it doesnt, it wasnt worth saving!

  • POSTED BY akshay4india on | January 11, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    This is probably the best article I've read about the IPL. Do not pay attention to the blind followers of IPL who cannot see the impact that the negative IPL is having on cricket as a whole. Keep it up!

  • POSTED BY Flat_Track_bullies on | January 11, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Well I didnt read the whole article, I got the gist half way through - this is another one of cricinfo articles where Sharda was probably asked to write something anti- IPL. I live in england and there are many journalists who would agree with you Sharda. But here's a point - if you cant bring a good news, please keep shut. Lets talk about positives - this is probably the fastest grown leagues in the world mainly due to passionate fans in India. Indian administrators are bad, we've seen it in CWG - so lets talk something positive please. I think IPL is great, a lot of fun and skills, and cricketers who have seen other sportsmen making millions, can enjoy some bucks themselves. Nothing wrong with it. For all other doubters, well its tough - enjoy it or keep finding your faults.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    Aside from the bloated excess and callousness of the auction, it's time to wake up to the realities of the post-Modi IPL. Despite Modi's own underhand dealings (of which there were no doubt plenty), at least he functioned autonomously from the BCCI's politburo, and so the graft was confined to Modi and his inner circle. Now that the BCCI kleptocrats have taken over, who knows how large the ring of "beneficiaries" is, or is going to be over the next few years. At least Modi was focussed on innovation, and on elevating the IPL to a global brand. He had a long term plan for the league, and may well have phased in a fairer process for player selection once the league established itself.

  • POSTED BY mkazmi on | January 11, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    I feel for Kaif and other cricketers who are made to look like slaves and cattle. IPL has and continues to damage the world of cricket. More than the IPL administrators it is the cricketers who are promoting this league by continuing to be put up for auction and not demanding min. wage or a salary cap. I guess money talks. An example is c. gayle who arrived in England for a test series only 2 days prior to it starting even though he was the captain, and publicly saying that he could care less if Test cricket were to die. now he doesnt have an IPL team to go to. what goes around, comes around, chris.

  • POSTED BY mustufa on | January 11, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    I only have one grievance with the article, Sharda you talked abt Pakistani players missing out. Its possibly the best thing that could have happened to Pakistan in the long run that their players are not there. I am sure the players miss the money, but to stay away from this nonsensical, out of control. low quality cricketing skill event, is a blessing in disguise.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    What a complete load of crap from a journalist who has little to no understanding of free market economies and the basic principle of demand and supply.

    And considering this is an Indian DOMESTIC league, why should everyone be equally represented? Why shouldn't Indian players reap the rewards of India's financial might? This is pure capitalism at work, and Sharda, who obviously has socialist roots in her, is unable to grasp this.

    FYI - I've lived in the US for a while and watch the NFL draft with great interest every year. The draft is anything but fair to the skill players. Rookies get millions in guaranteed money without playing a single down of NFL football.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Well Sharda, I would like to make a point. We, the public, the viewers of the IPL are also stakeholders, as we are the ones who watch the IPL matches, and help it make its billions in profits. And as stakeholders in the IPL, we want "Foresight", and definitely, and most certainly not "Blinkers"!!

  • POSTED BY cricketcritic on | January 11, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    Firmly agree about good players being passed over. Chris Gayle? Sanath Jayasuriya? And Ian Bell who looked a million dollars in the Ashes and just scored a century at better than a run a ball against the Aussie PM XI the other day. Then you see that Brendan McCullum's brother got signed - and he's no better than a club player in NZ, where standards aren't even high

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Good going...dont worship profession & game...worship limelight & money instead...at the same time... rue....

    Either accept IPL as entertainment, or bloody hell with it... not both...theres no mid-path

  • POSTED BY vverma on | January 11, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    I do not understand what the crying and whining is all about. As you yourself mentioned cricketing skills are being auctioned, not cricketers. Adam Gilchrist wouldn't have mop the floor for Preity Zinta, he'll bat for her. That is what he does anyways, an auction just means that he is going to get more dough for the job he is going to do anyways.

    As for the public auction and comparisons to American sports leagues, NBA and NFL have very public drafts and yes people go "unsold" or "unselected" (whichever term is less offensive to you) there as well. Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round of the draft. Players who do not have the heart to take all this, will never have the nerves to play in crunch situation. Such people should not be in professional sports in the first place. If you are not man enough to go through the auction, go ride your pink pony to the rainbow and beyond. Life's much happier there.

  • POSTED BY Procter on | January 11, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    Actually the Joke is on Sharda who thrive on articles on IPL but criticise it no end. She has missed out on mentioning how this auction has made the Pathan Bros, whose father earned Rs 2000 selling attar, $4 million per year just playing IPL. Her melodrama about players family of players like Kaif feeling let down doesn't mention what thrills families of Pathan Bros and Saurabh Tiwari must have felt when their children earned unimaginable riches. For one Kaif or Jaffer there were many more Pathans and Tiwaris at the Auction.

    Just because Americans didn't try Auction of players doesn't mean Indians' innovation is bad. Not everything American is the best. About time Sharda acknowledged that IPL has been one of the greatest brand/product/service ever launched in India and stop bickering about it. Btw, India's rise to top in cricket over past 2-3 years nicely coincides with start of IPL!!

  • POSTED BY Afro-Indo_Cricket_Critic on | January 11, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Sharda Ugra, Senior Editor, Cricinfo. I am very happy to see that you are saying something against the money making BCCI, when you see something wrong happening. Very glad.

    Now look back at the last three years and tell me what kind of coverage did Cricinfo give to ICL, and contrast it with the coverage you give to IPL. The ICL is a singular reason why League cricket reached the dizzying heights, not Lalit Modi. Not BCCI.

    You had the power to stand up against what was presented as iron fist, but was in reality a truly dictatorial force, and you missed an opportunity. The laughs which the franchise owners doled out, were as much on you, and me, as they were on the farce that IPL makes of cricket.

  • POSTED BY thesnare on | January 11, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    1. What is the aim of this article?

    2. Its long out of fashion to diss the IPL. We are in its 4th year now. Embrace it!

    3. I thought the way you covered the Auction itself was immature. Binoy and the others were way more insightful.

    4. What do you know of American sport? If we had a strong college cricket atmosphere, which graduates on to state cricket and then international cricket, then those drafts would probably work. Loose statements like "why not look at?" , "probably we can" convey a sense of disregard to the real issue and increase of focus on your emotional viewpoint.

    5. How does David Beckham feel when no English team wants him and he plays for the Galaxy MLS team? How do the Cavs feel when Lebron ditches them on primetime national TV for the Heat? This is not something new to sport! Grow up.

    6. If you can present a better solution to have a competitive league than go by the part retention-part auction mechanism,write on it.

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | January 11, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    IPL matches are held in April and May which happen to be the hottest time of the year in some of the hottest places on earth. Who cares about the fans? The IPL teams know best. Lara and Gayle are worthless. It should be clear to everyone that Irfan Pathan (gasp!) is now twice as good as Dale Steyn. Rohit Sharma is surely going to score twice as much as Kallis. Laxman cannot deliver in crunch time like Jadeja can. And Dinesh Karthik can contribute more than Haddin and Morkel combined. Poor Steve O'Keefe. He has to bowl for 45 years in order to earn the same as Chawla does in one season. Had he been smart, he would have settled for a bag of onions instead.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    The ultimate show of hypocrisy - after having earned a paycheck by providing step by step commentary to the auction, now she wants to diss at the league. If you were so disgusted by it, you should ignore every aspect of it.

    The IPL is a business venture. Players will get contracts based on their performance. If Kaif wasn't treated well, that's because he hasn't performed well in this format. Same goes for all the other "star players" people seem to complain about. As for the NFL draft - it is very much along the same lines, except there's a little bit more order based on team's performance because the teams never start from scratch. I wish you knew what you were talking about.

    And all the talk about idealism, and looking beyond the purse, is just so naive! Leagues like the IPL will certainly force players to make some difficult calls, but in the long run it will certainly benefit cricket (even if it wont be the same!)

    This article is a great example for the quality of journalism!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    To all the people (you know who you are) who are whining here as to why Sharda Ugra did not run away from the auction when she was so disgusted by it, and as to why she is complaining here - who is the hypocrite here? Sharda or those who went all the way through reading this article (just as Sharda sat through the auction), and are now going hammer and tongs about it? More than being un-biased about the actual process of auctioning on which Sharda muses here, there seems to be a great bias against Sharda. Talk of prejudices, for whatever reason! To Sharda's credit - well written article, you're doing a great job here. Don't let some dissenting voices bog you down.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    To sum it all up, the IPL has done more harm to cricket than any good. Why will anyone want to go thru the rigours of test cricket when he can earn much more by jus playing 20 overs? Secondly, who has benefited more from this is the corporate houses. Dont see any way in which the players have benefited. Infact it has only caused more injuries to key players and early retirements of talented cricketers. What a waste of manpower and money all for the sake of some STUPID format...... Cant the ICC take note of this and regulate this? What are you guys waiting for> Cricket is becoming the laughing stock...... IS SOMEONE LISTENING???

  • POSTED BY Arvind3 on | January 11, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    BY far the best analysis of the IPL and the auction process I've read!

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | January 11, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    I hope all cricket fans are reading this article. IPL is nothing about cricket. It's just making a fool of the sport we love and all cricket fans. IPL is a dangerous cancer that is killing cricket. Last year the SL tour to West Indies was cancelled. This year India's test matches in West Indies are going to be dropped. All because of the hectic schedule created by IPL. Cricket is dying and IPL is the murderer.

  • POSTED BY don_corleone840 on | January 11, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    If u dont like IPL.simply dont watch it.Skip ipl just like movies we skip.their is no point in wasting time on critising ipl every week.But truth is IPL is future of cricket.Test cricket will not survive in this busy world even though it is best format of cricket..

  • POSTED BY ranjeetc on | January 11, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    Great Article ! I completely agree about the crassness displayed by BCCI with the whole auction thing. Its more tabloid style than actual cricket when you have the Bollywood Idiots entering in just to improve their brand rather than cricket. Personally, I love watching the IPL and the camaraderie it brings withing players from different countries and just the sheer quality leagues bring as opposed to mundane FTP tours where one nation dominates the other all the time making for boring games. Hopefully as time goes by this league gets matured, but who knows. Regarding Pakistani cricketers not getting included, BCCI needs to be upfront about the reasons, Pak has a LOT of players of amazing T20 quality and they need to work out the security/visa/politics and try to include them so that the IPL's future has more stakeholders. Excluding them makes for far less exciting viewing I say this being an Indian

  • POSTED BY sonjjay on | January 11, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    The only change IPL needs to make is to wind up and go home.I seriously am worried as to what this may to do Indian cricket.Players are being arm twisted by big shots and the pitches are made to suit batsmen and they remain the same through out the year.Now we have a tour to WI and ENG after the IPL,do u seriously think players like zaheer will be fit for international matches??

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    I think it is not entirely correct to call Sharda a complete hypocrite. There is though some double standard as she was involved bringing the auction details live on cricinfo.

    What BCCI is doing is because they can do it. They are just harnessing the love and attachment every person in this country develops with the sport.

    India with a billion people is just a market. Cricket is an industry. Unfortunately cricketers are lowest level employees. Ask which cricketer who was shamed in this auction will not take a huge sum if offered?

    As far as the question of deriding values is, its everywhere. Go to any grand marriage i n India and you will find intoxicated people dancing to lewd songs in distasteful manner. Lewd and crass is often the way of rich in India. While others cringe, they have already moved on to their post auction party.

  • POSTED BY mmoosa on | January 11, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Interestingly Herschelle Gibbs in his autobiography rates the T20 world cup as way way inferior to the IPL both in occassion and vibe-love it or hate it the IPL is crickets hottest property whilst the 50 over format is crickets coldest.I see test cricket as sacrosanct and the IPL as the next most important fixture on the calender.Who wants to watch a 7 match 50 over odi series between the same faces going through the motions in empty stadiums? Yes the IPL auction procedure can be improved but lets get bums on seats to see cricket skills in the abbreviated format and inspire young kids as well as increase career options for worthy cricketers-domestic cricket,tests,odi's,county,20 over leagues internationally and IPL ensure a lucrative career and attraction of more youngsters to cricket-thats what we all want-lets not destroy it by negativity irrespective of the always negative Micheal Holding.

  • POSTED BY SR84 on | January 11, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    'I've got nothing to prove. Everyone knows my ability.' Chris Gayle lets the IPL franchises know what they have missed by not bidding for him at the auction Jan 9, 2011

  • POSTED BY nv_kkd on | January 11, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Hats off to Sharda Ugra for this article.

    I especially liked this line

    "The self-serving elite of an already small sport is now closing ranks into a smaller, tighter circle."

    Before a fortnight ago RR and KXIP did not even know whether they will be part of IPL 4 or not and suddenly BCCI lets them to take part in the auction.

    To build a team (cohesive unit).... it takes a lot of time , 3-4 years is an ideal and minimum period for any franchise to build a strong team with the right mix of foreign players and local talent.This will encourage the franchises to build cricket academies and train young local talent much like Barcelona and ManU.

    If any of the team member is not happy with his package he can terminate his contract and look out for other teams.

    Who is BCCI to determine the wages and set the ball rolling in the name of auction?

    Its role has to be that of a regulator and be restricted more towards administrative roles.

  • POSTED BY docvivk on | January 11, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Wow, seriously its so easy to criticize without giving solutions. It seems like one of those articles written in hurry cause the time was running out. The first half is still fine but why would you have written against the uncapped players salary limit, dont you think its good that there is motivation for playing for Team India, rather the limit for 20 lacs should ve applied to those also who have played less than 10 internationals, that way there is a reward for representing the country.

    So that there would be level playing field, & do you really want IPL to be like US NBA, NFL or EPL, Spanish league where there is so much bias & uneven playing field, with few teams too rich to afford the best players keep winning again. I really request you people at Cric info to give constructive criticism. Be a responsible media that you are . there are millions of cricketing fans that follow you & trust the brand ESPN.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | January 11, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    IPL is fun entertainment BUT THE AUCTION IS A JOKE. Pathan brothers most expensive? Chris Gayle unsold? Doesn't make much sense. THe auction is more like a lottery.

  • POSTED BY SR84 on | January 11, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    Yes, Pakistanis once again shut out by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Thanks for taking note (a first on Cricinfo).

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | January 11, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    People are almost deciding to skip cricinfo because of Sharada urga or what ever, she is too negative. But yeah public auctions gotta go. Please post this.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Bravo! You were all too happy to sit through the entire auction with deep "insights" in the live commentary section of cricinfo, and now you have the gall to say that it was degrading and whatnot? If you felt it was so degrading, why didn't you just get up and leave? And I don't see the cricketers complaining (I wouldn't either if I was getting paid a six figure salary, auction or otherwise), how come you have such a problem? I guess it is in vogue for journos to criticise anything and everything that is IPL, just to get people's attention. How about using some more imagination? I think everything bad that can possibly be said about IPL has been said, and many times over at that. Get some new material, please!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    I agree completely but am also a little pleased because when India tour South Africa, Australia and England again in 4-5 years time, there will be no Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid with rock-solid techniques and lots of patience and determination. We'll see how the batting fares then.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    Rather unfortunate that there are more people who have a problem with the article than with the issues Sharda tries to highlight. Probably we deserve the IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    From this article the author means to say that what CSK has done by retaining almost all its players from previous editions is the correct thing,

  • POSTED BY Rake1 on | January 11, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    And your point is? Anti free-market? Anti Slavery? Anti capitalism? Anti Indian cricketers? Anti everything. Have a chill pill and relax - life is such.

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | January 11, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    This article once again makes you realise that you are at that time of year where plethora of anti-IPL articles will be written.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | January 11, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    What a looooooooong and boooooooring article.

  • POSTED BY Angad11 on | January 11, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    I dont understand wats ur problem, you seem to be unhappy with everything in life. If you are really interested in fixing, start your own francise and buy players as you like or even better start your own league, who is stopping you. Stop highlighting every small aspect and make it a big BREAKING news. You journalists really need to grow up.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Very well written Sharda, it's a great article. Many of the unsold players deserved to get picked especially Tamim, Sanath, Gibbs and for me the bottom line is that it should not have been telecasted live on TV. It is indeed an insult to the players and their families when they are declared unsold.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    Poorly written article. doesn't spark any interest. doesn't match up to cricinfo's quality.

  • POSTED BY avis1001 on | January 11, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    This is unofficial ranking of players

  • POSTED BY StealthCrawler on | January 11, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    I think it's a good article. I had similar sentiments while going through the auction commentary. Non-deserving players getting higher bids. The whole thing was truly a joke on cricket. People say IPL has been good for Indian cricket. I don't see even a single TEST player unearthed by the IPL in the last 3-4 yrs. Yusuf Pathan can only play in India as his stats show. He has no skill away from home and don't even get me started on Jadeja. Ashwin might be someone who could do well...but we don't know yet. However, we definitely have LOST cricketers to the IPL..case in point - Rohit Sharma. Sharda is right in that IPL promotes the simplest form of cricket unlike NFL,EPL, et al. And there in lies the conundrum for the game's administrators and players. As far as the auction goes, it can surely be more dignified. It's just crass right now. Like a morning fish market...

  • POSTED BY anupriya91 on | January 11, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    i am a 19 yr old cricketer. most of my frnds are players in the ipl. some of them have become overnight millionaires thanks to the ipl, and this is just what ive seen personally and i do not wish to generalise, the incentive to play for india has gone down. i was considerably excited about the prospects of indian cricket when the ipl first started but i dont watch it anymore. cz i dont feel its benefitting indian cricket in any way. i commend you for noticing the whole "cheapness" of the auction but really, cricinfo was very much into it too. its all about taking a stand, if you dont like it, dont watch it or report it. and am i the only one who feels that india is losing the "home" advantage due to the ipl? i mean all of the fringe players from abroad not to mention the mainstream ones are spending considerable time here playing in the various teams. soon they'll be as at home here as the indian players. also, being a player myself i would love to see articles on "player rights".

  • POSTED BY cric_fanatics on | January 11, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    if auction is such a degraded method then why dont u suggest something else..?..n how does the baseball draft thing work here when there are new teams coming in../?..who decides which team is the weakest.?...completely paradoxical article...

  • POSTED BY Soulberry on | January 11, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    I'm sorry, I disagree with views expressed in this article. No point writing more than this in comments.

  • POSTED BY nafees1962 on | January 11, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    What is so right for the IPL, that was so wrong for the ICL?

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Did not you cover this totally ruthless trade of sportsmen with zeal yesterday? and why would you feel a need to deride WWE here? they are humans too madam. Double standards and hypocrisy by all means.

    Your view does not make a difference as long as it is not honest.

  • POSTED BY RSG476 on | January 11, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    This is one of the best articles I have read on Cricinfo. There is no issue if players make tons of money, but the process has great scope for improvement. However, I would not worry too much about who gets chosen or left out. Cricket competence is still judged by national games at Test cricket, ODI and T20 levels (maybe it will change) and the not the cheapest form of pyjama club cricket. As for shock over Preity Zinta et al, what more did we expect from a Bollywood tamasha ?

  • POSTED BY Raki99 on | January 11, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    The best word to decrivbe this process is called "DRAFT". IN USA they have draft for NFL, NBA and NHL. And all of them are a Independent boby. While with IPL its controlled by the likes of BCCI who only thinks about MONEY and not the standard of the game or neither they are trying to imporve the game. The only thik they think about is how to make more money.

  • POSTED BY LT11 on | January 11, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    I dont know why any columnist is always a sadinst in life. Always po9int out the negative point of any event.. I thouroughly njoyed IPL and think it is the best thing happened to Indian cricket.

    Player deserved all million $ pay after all they worked very very hard through out his life to get selected for IPL from 1 billion ppl. Its pure talent of the sports person. If any onr raise his eyebrow over players earning.. I would say go back to your life and see if anything you have done in much more dedicated way than a player's dedication for sports. Still you are earning a lot. Do you deserve that? NO....

  • POSTED BY shivendash on | January 11, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    This happens when some women with some big shot degrees write about the gentlemen's game. If players who are there to fight everytime and be an example for others, feel offended and are lily-livered, then there is no point of them playin the game. People laugh and will scorn at u everytime until u become a man and then a great man. It is not that u come and then whole stadium gives u a standing ovation. And what is this " joke on cricket" headline? It is pure business. Obviously people want moneya nd they are sold. Wats the big deal? We work and our bosses shout at us for not doin the way it is to be done. I know he might be laughing behind us with his friends. It is life and we will also do that. These big banners and NGO and humaniterians solve no problem but try to bring something out of nothing to make their artcles popular. I am angry but still i read this piece of rubbish and her aim is achieved. But good journalism is rare maam and try to make it count.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | January 11, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Great article Sharda. It is nice to see some integrity and passion still exists in some journalists, so that they can see the IPL for what it really is-the evil juggernaut which is out to decimate all real cricket as we know it for decades. I agree entirely with u Sharda, this is the only sport where the players with the lowest skill levels are those among the highly rewarded. Like tt elbow, the next real cricket i am eagerly awaiting is India's tour of England in July.

  • POSTED BY mogan707 on | January 11, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Cricinfo is playing a double bluff here.The Indian news channels and the Cricinfo brought the news-readers believe that it is the most extravagant event and then cursing it after all that happened.If Cricinfo felt that the event has no value for cricket, as per ethics Cricinfo should not have live coveraged this.In fact I was attracted to it only when your website are doing the coverage. And when I read this article I was bamboozled to see that after covering the auction for two days,they are coming up with this story.Is it business for business on business Cricinfo?!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    lol so funny who is writing the article one who is so much excited about the auction.

  • POSTED BY anoopsy on | January 11, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    If being contracted for your services mean slavery, about 75% of the employed population would have to quit their jobs. You hate the IPL, that is your right. But please do not do it in the way you are accusing the IPL of being the first place(catering to the 'low-brow', I mean). That stinks of hypocrisy and you know what they say about hypocrites.

  • POSTED BY anoopsy on | January 11, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    No actually, the only sane point this lady tries to make is players are sold like slaves. And she does it in the way she accuses the IPL of behaving. By using sensationalist statements 'how would the oh so poor parents feel? The world is going to end' Puhleez!!

    And for your info, the players are not sold to the owners(as slaves would suggest). The players' services are contracted to the franchises. And don't we all know that you that? That is the thing isn't it? Without writing such sensationalist drivel, you wouldn't have a job. Especially when cricinfo has hired you for that one reason alone. So please forgive me if I don't take it or you seriously.

  • POSTED BY primal_d on | January 11, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    finally, somebody in the media who truly loves the sport. Harsha Bhogle is one of the good guys, but I hardly see him calling it as he sees it anymore. No problems with T20 and the money the players make, but the IPL has always been a third-rate event that breeds mediocrity. Even without cricket quality, the IPL will succeed wildly, that there is no doubt about. In India, when have a majority of us bothered about trivial things like quality, sporting ethos, etc? we got what we asked for. sad stuff.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | January 11, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    Wait one sec Sharda ! weren't you just as excited as many others in India over these auctions ? what's all this hullabaloo about money when the cricketers themselves are behind it. To all those who talk with a big mouth about the millions dished out to cricketers, let me ask you one simple question - will a single international cricketer both Indian or overseas even think about coming to India to play in the IPL if he was offered second to nothing ? the answer is NO ! it's as simple as that. Then there are also others who wish to see the demise of the IPL. Let's face it guys, the Indian industrialists were only flexing their muscles because the players who threw their names into the auction wanted it so. If anyone is not 'bought' out by a team then too bad they have to live with the consequences. Sharda I can't believe the hypocrisy in your article.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    well written article , Sharda. IPL caters to a chosen few and names.

  • POSTED BY aahd81 on | January 11, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    As true as this article is, the fact remains; IPL isn't going away. IPL is NOT improving and Indian Cricket Board is not going to get any better either. Its exactly what money does to people with low, or no, moral fiber.

    I am not against T20 cricket, I'm not against players being better paid either, but in actuality the cricket world is being broken down into the haves and have-nots. Some players are getting big money in IPL, others are going 'unsold' and still others are being told they don't exist on the scene (Pakistan team?)

    I don't claim to be too bright, but even I can see its an open invitation for corruption in the sport and thats saddening.

    to break up the cricket world with

  • POSTED BY Knightriders_suck on | January 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Auction is wrong because it plonks people in teams they may not want to play for. Bottom line we may have seen Kumble playing if he was assured a place in RCB. Even for less money. For me the procedure should be every franchisee has to get the player's contracts registered before a given date and the total salary bill should stay below a limit. If some player cannot come to an understanding with a team but still wants to play then those guys go in a auction and is picked up by team prepared to pay the most. But then you will cry non transparent process.

  • POSTED BY Durgasharan on | January 11, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Well said. Cricket players deserve to be treated with more dignity. Cricket deserves better than these ignorant people. @sweetspot Sharda Ugra is not against players earning money. She wants fairness and dignity for them and the sport. Nobody is grudging the players their due. It is only we do not want talented cricketers to be auctioned and the whole disgusting spectacle to be telecast live. I sincerely wish IPL takes a knock and a better format of league with more dignity and more focus on the game comes in. Oh to see Dale Steyn steaming in and tendulkar defend and too then watch a stupid over in 20-20 in which boundaries mainly come in mishits. What a contrast. It would be better if 20-20 is christened as a new game and say that it has nothing to do with cricket.

  • POSTED BY lucknowrocks06 on | January 11, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I have yet to hear an explanation as to why a draft wasn't used. How am I supposed to stick to one team when I have no geographical inclination for any of them and my favorite players keep switching teams. An auction might be the dumbest way to select teams; however, it would've been mildly acceptable if only done for rookies. Also, an expansion draft would've taken care of the two new teams. The whole notion of an auction every year is quite bizarre.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Come on Cricinfo, Why cricinfo is mad about IPL, because English players could not attract much of IPL team owners? Guys, it is OK to be biased but not this much, (a tour match involving England gets much more importance than international games, Ashes win photos and dreams of No.1 ranking hang on front for days). Imagine if England player(s) would have grabbed samemoeny as of Gambhir. The veiws on Cricinfo are actually those are of Engalnd, they are not neutral.

  • POSTED BY amonia on | January 11, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    I want to ask y cricketers shouldnt enjoy little bit of stardom? after many years of cricket they deserve this. auction was may be boring on 2nd day... first day was fun...

    I liked that writer did not totally compared auction to slavery. some of my frnds also say that. it just offering ur cricketing skills.

    My view is If u cant hold the pressure of live auction there is option of switching off TV or changing channel.

    There are good and bad factors in every event or u can say everything. you can not deny. there are flaws in EPL BBVA or in NFL. EPL is now playing with money by clubs like Chelsea, ManC. BBVA has 18 out of 20 teams making losses. I think IPL brings more good than bad. It offers good competition than soccer. Cricketing skills will improve as we have seen all veterans performing good. It will improve with time like starting youth clubs and all.

  • POSTED BY TwitterJitter on | January 11, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    It is a little bit rich coming from this lady in particular and cricinfo in general considering that they were doing live coverage of auctions yesterday and giving us all the psycho-babble about why franchises picked certain players and ignored others. If you feel that it is making mockery of cricket are you (and I mean cricinfo) obligated to cover it? You do it for the same reasons that IPL/BCCI did it. "eyeballs/viewers" all for the same reason to pull in advertisers and bring in moolah. After your work is done - like a true hypocrite - you sit here in judgment of others. Cricinfo editors are too steeped in hypocrisy to question BCCI's motives in trying to grab eyeballs and advertisers while they themselves are engaging in the same behavior. The auction process makes players look like cattle but I stopped complaining about it because in some ways I myself am guilty having followed it on the internet. At least I am guilty of hypocrisy.

  • POSTED BY PingCricket on | January 11, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    IPL Auctions is a joke from the start and the way Franchises bid for various players is even a bigger joke. Forget the cricketing sense, I am still trying to understand the whole economic sense. The only way you can make sense out of this is if franchises ask players in their contracts to promote freely their sponsors in various advertisements. (in addition to cricket of course but IPL has so little to do with cricket anyway)

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Secondly, They laughed during the 'kaif bid' because few franchises kept raising the bid for a player who was totally ignored thrice! Even i was laughing for god sakes and donno you would include in your article! Harsha Bogle apologized for his misunderstanding of that laugh on twitters himself. Brain Lara is 41 and its fair that franchises have doubts on him n they have their own strategies. So lets stop talking about it. Preity Zinta 'throwin sponges' ? What else could expect from someone who'z involved only in calling the bid and in my opinion, not involved in any decision making process ??!

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | January 11, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    I too felt that this auction business was quite sickening for anyone who actually loves cricket. I found it distasteful in the extreme to be told about icons like Lara and Ganguly went 'unsold' and about legends like Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman having escaped by 'at least getting what they got in the auction'. This whole disgusting spectacle has a face which was commonly associated with the IPL earlier and reeks of Americanisms in every sense of the word.Do we need this after viewing some fine Test cricket both in South Africa and in Australia. Even if the latter series was one-sided, coming as it did after decades of domination by Australia,the result was welcomed by the majority. The point is that what we got to see was quality cricket as it was meant to be. Not some circus-like charecters trying to convince everyone that they are actually watching cricket. And the names to make one wonder if we were in some WWF domain. I wish the obituary of 20/20 is around the corner.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    This is the modern day luxurious slavery. It was like during the time where gladiators were bought and sold. Unfortunately poor people are paying millionaires to play cricket. Less interest in auctions and more interest in cricket is the most welcome.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Sharda, I have enjoyed a lot of your commentaries but let me be honest with you that this article is a little surprising and disappointing! Firstly, commentary is all about making the proceeding exciting by involving the technical nuances of the happening and clearly you were not the right one to commentate on the day Sharda because it was not cricket that was going on, it was the other thing called auction. If such a commentator declares an event a bore, it will become the same for sure! I expected someone who could trace the strategies n mindset, expected buys, requirements met with in the teams etc, m not venting out feeling on why Gayle, Lara wasn't bid for! If i remember correctly it was Binoy who pointed out that Gayle is not available throughout n you corrected yourselves later on. That could have been your homework for an effective commentary. "Yawn" must never be used by a commentator in my opinion !

  • POSTED BY patyl on | January 11, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Sharda, good to see someone take a sane point of view - although I am not worried too much about the long term impact on Indian cricket. I would rather have the IPL to weed out players who are in it only for money: let them have some of it and walk away. Indian cricket probably does not need them. Also, I wish that the likes of Kumble grow in stature in the Indian cricket administration. That will invariably bring a bit more sanity and decency to these auction type events... I admit it's a long shot though.

  • POSTED BY SatzN on | January 11, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Please spare a thought for TV viewers, not only is the cricket telecast painful (as Steve Waugh said), even the IPL too was telecast and analysed live. All I can make out of the cricket telecasts nowadays is a car, a calling plan, a mobile phone or a life insurance product. We are not shown any thing else....

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    I believe the players have a choice of staying away from IPL. Money vs Dignity. Most of them have made their choice, it seems.

  • POSTED BY Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on | January 11, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Well said...but am not really sure the cricketers have cause to complain. They did nominate themselves, didnt they? The wonderfully close Test matches over the past month has made me hate T20 even more than usual. I now cringe when runs are scored. Dale Steyn and co. have ensured that I now love watching ball beat bat than the other way round. Cannot wait for India's tour of England in June :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Amit, cricinfo reserves the right to comment on anything related to the game, be it international games, ranji games or amateur ball park games. She has rightly highlighted the ludicrous practices within IPL in a well thought out article. If people like Sharda do not write about such cattle-sale within the game, then instead of one Lalit Modi, u'll find a hundred Modis ruling the world of cricket soon (if it hasn't happened already).

    Pay no attention to moaners. Great work Sharda!

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | January 11, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    "The IPL auction does not really belong to sport, it is closer to tawdry WWE programming. "?? Really? Or miserable Indian players misfielding in the innocent golden era of Tests only? If this generation is the lucky one, being paid enormous sums of money, so be it. For THIS is the generation that has dared to climb to the top EVEN in Test cricket. Until Kapil won the 83 World Cup with his daredevil approach, India had not dared to dream. Kapil too has two Mercedes Benz cars that he took some pride in acquiring. I LOVE him for that. Material abundance does not automatically mean a poverty of spirit. There were only 12 Indian cricketers who could get anything at all to take home from the sport at one time, even though there were millions of supporters. Today we have a few more supporters, but a whole lot more players who are making a living out of opportunities like the IPL. Nothing wrong!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    I am sure she dislikes IPL, but i am sure she loves the sport. I see many of you saying that the game is bigger than the players. What she says here is that, the game and the sport stands better than some cheap local event. If you can't understand how a game works and what it means to a sport when you auction players, then please resent from commenting. What she has told here is fully sane, she is just trying to bring out the hard picture of the IPL. She is not cooking stories here, everything is factual and what IPL and BCCI have done is pure disgrace to the game. There are just a couple of games where they bet on people and play cheaply, and now cricket it slowly joining that list with all this IPL drama. Zero brainers like you are the ones who kill the spirit of the game. You have zero clue on what a game is or to the ones who play them. You take them to be horses and want your favorite horse to win.

    Sadly, i think cricket is better than just betting and funda.

  • POSTED BY Etrnlwanderer on | January 11, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I echo amit1807kuwait's sentiments. Sharda, weren't you one on the forefront of the Cricinfo Live coverage of the auction, voicing your views on why a X or Y cricketer was being auctioned for such a high or low value. At that time where were all these sanctimonious thoughts of yours?

  • POSTED BY ticktac on | January 11, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    @amit1807kuwait:may be you have not read the article. its not about IPL or T20 format The.author rightly points out the mocking made of the auction process. these bollywood ... and money mongers who hardly know about the cricket, treat the players like commodities or slaves of the older times. get some sanity in there...big money game

  • POSTED BY shashika68c on | January 11, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I am from sri lanka(n)..... to me I (indian)PL is 2nd wold cup! pls...... just away from it...

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Sharda you are right. This is the worst way to treat cricket and its ambassadors. Why not they follow some other method like EPL or European football leagues. Players on auction looks like cattle for sale. Disgusting. Many european football leagues and franchises are also buying and selling players but not like this in an auction. This auction brings disgrace to the game itself. Whether BCCI will take any steps or frame any other method for player transfer and player buying? have to wait and see.

  • POSTED BY cricket_wins on | January 11, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    If they want to show how "big" their money is, ask them to show cash flows openly on air!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    atlast,someone got the courage to think beyond money :) ..

  • POSTED BY Raju_Iyer on | January 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    "If you can't beat them, join them!" , perhaps that was the axiom followed by Sharda and cricinfo who had a live coverage of the auction . Let me admit that though I am not a huge IPL fan, I did find the live coverage of the auction interesting. Just as our movies, TV chanels and newspapers are a reflection of our times, so is the IPL which epitomises the commercialization of our national obsession to the hilt. On the positive side, as Kapil Dev put it nicely, instead of just a few players earning good money as in the past, today many more can earn decent salaries, so what if it is through an auction.As for disservice to the game, I would not agree, surely it is no coincidence that Gautam Gambhir attracted such a huge bid when he is in the form of his life and fought valiantly for Team India when it was needed most. Today if a Yusuf Pathan or a Ravichandra Ashwin has been fast tracked into the national side, we have the IPL to thank.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | January 11, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    There might have been some grammatical mistakes in this article. But I commend Sharda and Cricinfo for this article. I wonder if there'd be a time soon when some of the players will have the wealth to buy out national selectors. But then why would they need to? @amit1807kuwait - If you dislike this article, why don't you stay away from it? Can't, right?

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    sharda ma'am, u have been one my most loved cricket experts. Have always loved reading your columns right from the india today days. Only regret why are u not there on twitter or facebook, so that i can have aregular update on ur articles.

  • POSTED BY Paresh.K on | January 11, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    @amit1807kuwait - Its not as if Sharda dislikes IPL, what her post is trying to point out is if the so called administrators do not handle the league with caution and proper future look out , it could end up in more embarrassment then the Lalit Modi fiasco. And its important too as we should never forget the bottom line that the theatrics should not be bigger then the "Game".

  • POSTED BY FinchAtticus on | January 11, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    I dont think writer here hates IPL. she does nt like the modus operandi, hence suggesting changes which seems alright to me.

  • POSTED BY pom_basher on | January 11, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Pointless... Utterly pointless article, Sharda. You are doing nothing else apart from whingeing. What is the issue here? Salaries? Some players not getting contracts and their parents getting stressed out due to that? Downfall of the classic game by players ignoring real skills? All of this (apart from the poor parents) has been discussed time and time again. Maybe you want BCCI to go american way, invent American Cricket, conduct drafts and sorts... come back with a better one, lady.

  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | January 11, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Sharda, if you dislike IPL so much, why dont you just stay away from it rather than write reams and reams about your drooling distaste of IPL? Take a cue from Michael Holding who does not commentate on T20 cricket because he does not consider it a form of cricket. Please do not use a major website like Cricinfo to vent your dissatisfaction on people who have nothing to do with it.

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  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | January 11, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Sharda, if you dislike IPL so much, why dont you just stay away from it rather than write reams and reams about your drooling distaste of IPL? Take a cue from Michael Holding who does not commentate on T20 cricket because he does not consider it a form of cricket. Please do not use a major website like Cricinfo to vent your dissatisfaction on people who have nothing to do with it.

  • POSTED BY pom_basher on | January 11, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Pointless... Utterly pointless article, Sharda. You are doing nothing else apart from whingeing. What is the issue here? Salaries? Some players not getting contracts and their parents getting stressed out due to that? Downfall of the classic game by players ignoring real skills? All of this (apart from the poor parents) has been discussed time and time again. Maybe you want BCCI to go american way, invent American Cricket, conduct drafts and sorts... come back with a better one, lady.

  • POSTED BY FinchAtticus on | January 11, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    I dont think writer here hates IPL. she does nt like the modus operandi, hence suggesting changes which seems alright to me.

  • POSTED BY Paresh.K on | January 11, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    @amit1807kuwait - Its not as if Sharda dislikes IPL, what her post is trying to point out is if the so called administrators do not handle the league with caution and proper future look out , it could end up in more embarrassment then the Lalit Modi fiasco. And its important too as we should never forget the bottom line that the theatrics should not be bigger then the "Game".

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    sharda ma'am, u have been one my most loved cricket experts. Have always loved reading your columns right from the india today days. Only regret why are u not there on twitter or facebook, so that i can have aregular update on ur articles.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | January 11, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    There might have been some grammatical mistakes in this article. But I commend Sharda and Cricinfo for this article. I wonder if there'd be a time soon when some of the players will have the wealth to buy out national selectors. But then why would they need to? @amit1807kuwait - If you dislike this article, why don't you stay away from it? Can't, right?

  • POSTED BY Raju_Iyer on | January 11, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    "If you can't beat them, join them!" , perhaps that was the axiom followed by Sharda and cricinfo who had a live coverage of the auction . Let me admit that though I am not a huge IPL fan, I did find the live coverage of the auction interesting. Just as our movies, TV chanels and newspapers are a reflection of our times, so is the IPL which epitomises the commercialization of our national obsession to the hilt. On the positive side, as Kapil Dev put it nicely, instead of just a few players earning good money as in the past, today many more can earn decent salaries, so what if it is through an auction.As for disservice to the game, I would not agree, surely it is no coincidence that Gautam Gambhir attracted such a huge bid when he is in the form of his life and fought valiantly for Team India when it was needed most. Today if a Yusuf Pathan or a Ravichandra Ashwin has been fast tracked into the national side, we have the IPL to thank.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    atlast,someone got the courage to think beyond money :) ..

  • POSTED BY cricket_wins on | January 11, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    If they want to show how "big" their money is, ask them to show cash flows openly on air!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Sharda you are right. This is the worst way to treat cricket and its ambassadors. Why not they follow some other method like EPL or European football leagues. Players on auction looks like cattle for sale. Disgusting. Many european football leagues and franchises are also buying and selling players but not like this in an auction. This auction brings disgrace to the game itself. Whether BCCI will take any steps or frame any other method for player transfer and player buying? have to wait and see.