MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture September 3, 2014

IPL should not exist - Botham

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'IPL too powerful' - Botham

Ian Botham used the platform of his MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture to brand the IPL "too powerful" for the good of cricket and said he believed it should not exist.

He said that the tournament provided the "perfect opportunity for betting and therefore fixing" and on the subject of corruption also called on the ICC to do more to expose the "big names" involved.

"I'm worried about the IPL - in fact, I feel it shouldn't be there at all as it is changing the priorities of world cricket," Botham said. "Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it.

"How on earth did the IPL own the best players in the world for two months a year and not pay a penny to the boards who brought these players into the game?

"I know this has been modified to a degree, but it is still an imbalance. The IPL is too powerful for the long-term good of the game.

"Corruption is enough of a problem in itself, but the IPL compounds that problem given it provides the perfect opportunity for betting and therefore fixing."

Expanding on the corruption theme, he added: "We have seen a few players exposed, but does throwing the odd second XI player into jail solve it? To kill the serpent, you must cut off its head. The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit must pursue the root of the problem and if necessary expose the big names."

Closer to home, Botham questioned whether the presence of central contracts had made England's players too "cosy" and also called on the UK government to do more cricket in schools.

"Central contracts are brilliant, but it has now become so essential to the England player that the sharpness goes," he said. "A long contract is a cosy contract. To play international sport, above all else - above even freshness and rest - you must have desire. Hunger is still the most important attribute for any sportsman."

On the facilities and time given to sport, especially cricket, in schools Botham said it drove him "insane" how little is being done and called on the Prime Minister David Cameron to live up to his promise of making change happen.

"Why aren't the Government focusing on sport as a necessity in the school curriculum?" he said. "This subject drives me insane. I feel it is my duty to point out the problems that face sport in schools, and specifically cricket.

"The problem is now that schools are too big and there is no personal touch with the teachers. And as schools get bigger, one of the things you lose are your playing fields," he added. "Come on David Cameron - when I came to Downing Street to meet you, you made all the right noises and promised to come back to me with your ideas. I'm still waiting."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 7, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Just imagine Morgan Freeman saying "" He is right , you know " :D

  • on September 6, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    No getting rid of IPL. That just cannot be done now.

    So every board should start their own Cricket franchise (actually a full time cricketing club) league (not just for T20 format). No matter how small they are. The timing of the league should depend on the weather and seasons of a country, not on the timing of the IPL. You can ask what will this do. This will trigger a debate among the domestic franchisees to allow players to go and play for foreign franchisee.

    Which means cricketers will have to be bought like club football. Yes!!! Transfer fees cricketers. This will help generate money when a country's talent goes to play in abroad. Also no restrictions/problems when they are call to play for their county.

  • on September 5, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Neighbour's Envy. Owner's Pride.

  • on September 5, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    I agree with Sir Ian. IPL Is all about India. countries with smaller markets or poorer nations are at the mercy of the IPL. The Indian board now has the money, but without a coompetative WI, NZ, PAK or SL, everybody will lose. As a WEst Indian, I feel cheated everytime a Sunil Narine or Pollard choose the money before country. But every dog has its day and India's Stending power will not last forever.

  • ghostOf_DonBradman on September 5, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    @ all....good to see more and more people are talking in favor of IPL and at the same time accept that it needs to improve and understands that it will happen with time....cheers

  • on September 5, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    While Botham's words are partially true and his concerns are literal, they are insignificant. ICC can never ever gain control on either IPL or could organize a similar event with equivalent success. India is a very unique market for sports, highly unlike any other in the world. The numbers are gigantic and incomparable to any other single country. Cricket (IPL) rules people's interest and admiration here today (at least in present). You cannot shut it down, but can only beat with something better and bigger - that could potentially generate more interest and, most importantly, more money than it. On the contrary, I think, most of such critics would have had a very different opinion had they were in the driving seat of such an extravaganza. Then, their voice would be very different then how it is heard today. Unfortunate, but one cannot underestimate the power, or enshroud the visibility of money. If you are against the word 'sports-entertainment', go watch golf.

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Well i agree with you, Mr. Botham.... I expected you to start talking from 'unsuccessful EPL' and ended with IPL would be nice - that yardstick should be measured correctly everywhere!!

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    one has to agree with I Botham.

  • Sudhir65 on September 5, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    Makes no sense. Just another hater. He really did not do a good job of explaining his negative position on IPL. If BCCI is responsible for paying all the Intl boards, then all leagues of the world should pay other boards. Which will make it a useless give and take policy. IPL just needs to check on corruption. On the positive side it provides thousands with jobs (hotels, airlines, restaurants etc.) while season is on- not to speak of players.

  • on September 5, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    IPL is cheap entertainment. Its long term impacts are bad for the game of cricket. There is a modern tendency for people to go for instant stuff, like instant food. Instant food is very popular. But that does not mean the long term implications of instant food are good for health. From a Sri Lanka cricket's development perspective, IPL has been a curse. In 2007, players went up to country's president and got a England test tour cancelled because of IPL. It is true that was a short series in early summer as a replacement for a cancelled series against Zimbabwe. But our players would have benefited a lot from that experience. In 2011, test tour of England SL squad arrived in small groups because of IPL commitments. The two key players Sanga and Mahela not having enough time to acclimatise to conditions affected their form throughout the test series we lost 1-0. Thankfully with virtually no player participation in IPL we are doing great in international cricket even in T20s.

  • on September 7, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Just imagine Morgan Freeman saying "" He is right , you know " :D

  • on September 6, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    No getting rid of IPL. That just cannot be done now.

    So every board should start their own Cricket franchise (actually a full time cricketing club) league (not just for T20 format). No matter how small they are. The timing of the league should depend on the weather and seasons of a country, not on the timing of the IPL. You can ask what will this do. This will trigger a debate among the domestic franchisees to allow players to go and play for foreign franchisee.

    Which means cricketers will have to be bought like club football. Yes!!! Transfer fees cricketers. This will help generate money when a country's talent goes to play in abroad. Also no restrictions/problems when they are call to play for their county.

  • on September 5, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Neighbour's Envy. Owner's Pride.

  • on September 5, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    I agree with Sir Ian. IPL Is all about India. countries with smaller markets or poorer nations are at the mercy of the IPL. The Indian board now has the money, but without a coompetative WI, NZ, PAK or SL, everybody will lose. As a WEst Indian, I feel cheated everytime a Sunil Narine or Pollard choose the money before country. But every dog has its day and India's Stending power will not last forever.

  • ghostOf_DonBradman on September 5, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    @ all....good to see more and more people are talking in favor of IPL and at the same time accept that it needs to improve and understands that it will happen with time....cheers

  • on September 5, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    While Botham's words are partially true and his concerns are literal, they are insignificant. ICC can never ever gain control on either IPL or could organize a similar event with equivalent success. India is a very unique market for sports, highly unlike any other in the world. The numbers are gigantic and incomparable to any other single country. Cricket (IPL) rules people's interest and admiration here today (at least in present). You cannot shut it down, but can only beat with something better and bigger - that could potentially generate more interest and, most importantly, more money than it. On the contrary, I think, most of such critics would have had a very different opinion had they were in the driving seat of such an extravaganza. Then, their voice would be very different then how it is heard today. Unfortunate, but one cannot underestimate the power, or enshroud the visibility of money. If you are against the word 'sports-entertainment', go watch golf.

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Well i agree with you, Mr. Botham.... I expected you to start talking from 'unsuccessful EPL' and ended with IPL would be nice - that yardstick should be measured correctly everywhere!!

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    one has to agree with I Botham.

  • Sudhir65 on September 5, 2014, 1:27 GMT

    Makes no sense. Just another hater. He really did not do a good job of explaining his negative position on IPL. If BCCI is responsible for paying all the Intl boards, then all leagues of the world should pay other boards. Which will make it a useless give and take policy. IPL just needs to check on corruption. On the positive side it provides thousands with jobs (hotels, airlines, restaurants etc.) while season is on- not to speak of players.

  • on September 5, 2014, 0:16 GMT

    IPL is cheap entertainment. Its long term impacts are bad for the game of cricket. There is a modern tendency for people to go for instant stuff, like instant food. Instant food is very popular. But that does not mean the long term implications of instant food are good for health. From a Sri Lanka cricket's development perspective, IPL has been a curse. In 2007, players went up to country's president and got a England test tour cancelled because of IPL. It is true that was a short series in early summer as a replacement for a cancelled series against Zimbabwe. But our players would have benefited a lot from that experience. In 2011, test tour of England SL squad arrived in small groups because of IPL commitments. The two key players Sanga and Mahela not having enough time to acclimatise to conditions affected their form throughout the test series we lost 1-0. Thankfully with virtually no player participation in IPL we are doing great in international cricket even in T20s.

  • ARad on September 4, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    I don't know about the inter-country spats here but if anyone thinks that players such as Maxwell, D Smith, Raina & McCullum, who were all successful in the last IPL, are any sort of marquee players in world cricket, well, you must only be watching IPL. I do like all of the above players and I do watch IPL but I watch other forms of cricket too. Let's be reasonable.

    T20 requires certain skills but those skills are not exactly polished and the memories it produce are short-lived. If you sell an inferior product based on marketing and manufactured excitement, don't expect to get away with it forever. It may attract low-knowledge audience looking for some action but the same audience would switch to other entertainment just as easily as they switched to IPL.

    IPL is like a disposable paper towel with cool prints. I may look at it for a few minutes and say it looks cool but I won't frame and hang it on the wall.

  • Black_Prince on September 4, 2014, 22:56 GMT

    I dont watch too many IPL games. But I don't agree with IPL not existing. That is nonsense.

  • on September 4, 2014, 19:54 GMT

    Excellent points - good to see someone speaking out finally.

  • on September 4, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    IPL adds the new dimension to cricket. This types of league should be organised by ICC all over the world at the same time of the year just like football. All these BBL, IPL or t2o league in england should be played at the same time and there should be a separate window of 3 months given to it. Players should be bought and sold from all over the world by any team who can afford. If that can happen in football why not in cricket. ICC needs to get involve in it. As in football, its FifA who supports the leagues.

  • Ajay02 on September 4, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    If Sir Botham widens his horizon and comment about English Football league. Over 850 million spend on transfers and majority of them foreign players. Comment like this by Sir Botham will drag English Cricket further down. Corruption is every where and law should play its own part to stem it. Indian loves cricket and Bollywood and dont see any thing wrong in that.

  • baghels.a on September 4, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    @Yorkshire Pudding, who told you that our test team is selected on basis of IPL if that was the case then the likes of Pujara,Vijay,Pankaj Singh ,Ishant Sharma,Varun Aaron,Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli yes Kohli had a poor IPL this season would never have been selected in first place.Our test teams are selected on basis of Ranji,Duleep trophies,Irani,India A tours and don't let IPL bashers tell you otherwise.After the advent of IPL India has become no.1 in tests, always win there home test series in India with the exception of Cook and KP inspired England in 2012.India have also won a series in NZ (2009) and drawn with SA (2010/11) what is the correlation between IPL and all of India's overseas loses anyway?? so India's win in Lords was because of IPL ??

    @kartcrick going by your logic Rahane can play in all 3 formats but Alstair Cook can't in T20 so give more priorities to T-20's !! have WI selectors ever trusted Pollard in there test team, he atleast plays much straighter than Cook .

  • fguy on September 4, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    those blaming ipl for india's test form.. what about SA & Aus, most of whose players participate in it? what about Eng getting thrashed 0-3 in UAE (where they couldnt chase 150), & in Aus 0-5 (incl. a test where they lasted only total of 94 overs in their 2 innings), this despite no ipl effect??? at least india won a test here. at least ipl has helped us win WC's, CT's.. personally, i'll take a loss in all bilateral series if we keep winning tournaments which are any day more challenging.

  • abhiyog on September 4, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Come on Mr Botham we Indians love it it will never ever happen

  • glen1 on September 4, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    There is something about the Indian Cricket Fan that makes IPL a necessity. There is the strong appreciation of skills, no matter what the country origin of the player. There is in equal measure a criticism of the weaknesses of the Indian players. Added to this, the players themselves would like to see and enjoy the presence of fully packed stadia and wouldn't mind the extra buck. So the success of IPL is due to the Indian spectators, and the entertaining star players from around the world. The players have made their intent known, and it is for the league to polish up some deficiencies. IPL is here to stay and entertainment aspect of cricket has moved to India; ECB has to come to terms with it.

  • on September 4, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    League cricket is profit oriented private enterprise. Cricket Boards' role is primarily developmental. Can these two co-exist? It can. And, it should.

    The free for all capitalism (free economy) and totalitarianism (controlled economy), in their pure form, do not exist any more.

    At the macro level, countries are trying to arrive at a balance. Both US & China are good examples, though moving in opposite directions.

    Even at the micro level, these two systems co-exist. Hi-priced specialty wards make charity possible for corporate hospitals. Same is the case with education. Any Minister of Education will tell you the need for both .

    So, let the (a) league cricket and (b) developmental / representative (representing states, counties, or nations) co exist. And the mix may vary from country to country. Let the Administrators arrive at the right mix. Let ICC not legislate that.

    It is high time we fans accept this reality, and stop denigrating one or the other, based on our own biases.

  • ladycricfan on September 4, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    The problem with IPL is the auction system. More often than not those players who contribute more to the team success are paid less than others who contribute less. Specially many foreign players, who are paid less than their indian counterparts. Ranking system can be used to allocate salary on merit.

  • on September 4, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    well said sir botham. cricket should remain game not business

  • sundar02 on September 4, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    who ever claiming test match is the best cricket, you have to understand the impact of watching 5 days of test cricket in the life of audience. I am talking about who watch in the stadium not following in media. if you make game simply for the followers in media, why you need stadium, simply make ground and where only players play the game and no one allowed to watch. This way cricket can be played in any backyard. How many has time to watch 5 days of working hours (including school times) to see it and enjoy it. Let the players play test for their personal best at their back yard. if you want audience then it should be less than 4 hrs. This way people love to spend time to watch in tv or net or in ground at the same time they won't waste their working hours. Let us abandon test cricket from viewing. This is why test cricket dies. T20 wins. Play more IPL will keep your job secured and more entertainment prevails. If you want to play real sport crazy play in back yard.

  • on September 4, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    @S.Jagernath on (September 4, 2014, 10:11 GMT):

    Skills developed in IPL is more appropriate for ODI, and not for tests. Now, you check again, how many went on to excel in ODI's, after the IPL experience. You will be surprised to see a very large contingent!

  • on September 4, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding on (September 4, 2014, 11:55 GMT):

    What you are pointing out, if at all correct, is a selection flaw; not a systemic flaw. @ghostOf_DonBradman's response is correct. Jadeja, Rahane, Rohit, Dhawan, Gambhir et al... all of them had done well in the 4-day format of the Ranji trophy cricket. Kohli may be an exception, who was fast tracked into the national team from the U-19 ODI world championship. And, but for this tour, he had evolved most. So we can't make any generalization on the IPL-effect on Test performance.

    Of course, swinging conditions do not exist in India, to any meaningful extent. That inexperience, along with an effective slip cordon of England decimated India in the tests.

    It goes to the credit of India seamers,for developing swing to their armoury, developed in hostile conditions.

  • on September 4, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    The utility of IPL is visible from performance of India, Australia and South African cricketers currently as almost all their ODI players play in IPL. And not suprisingly only 1-2 players from England played in IPL and you can see their ODI performances. IPL gives opportunities to lesser known players (who have not yet made to the teams or the ones who are struggling with their forms) to compete with internation level players thereby helping them to develop and gain confidence. Ofcourse Test cricket is a different ball game but I am sure IPL is not going to impact test cricket as it has its own skill required and it has its own charm to play and watch.

  • baghels.a on September 4, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    To all those Indian fans who agree with Botham and despise IPL : do you only care about 15 or 16 who make the Indian national team ?? what about domestic cricketers who toil all season long unnoticed and unappreciated and for some reasons are never selected for Indian team, for cricketers like Rajat Bhatia,Pravin Tambe and there ilk IPL provides them with a platform to get noticed and earn some appreciation, please don't begrudge that.Unfortunately not many care about our traditional domestic trophies like Ranji,Duleep,Vijay Hazare if they did then probably we would not be needing an IPL in first place.All major and popular team sports in the world are club/franchise based for a reason because they are more inclusive and not elitist or restrictive.

  • bbumbum on September 4, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    If IPL like T20 franchise ever came out of England or Australia, a lot of these people would be rooting for it. T20 is the natural/practical evolution of Cricket as a sport to meet its market needs. T20 nay-sayers are merely those who cant adapt.

  • lazytrini on September 4, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    It's not just the IPL that has too much power, but the BCCI as a whole.

  • on September 4, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Every sport in the world is either having a league structure, or is moving towards one. Football has multiple leagues (EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga etc.), basketball has the NBA, and even Rugby has their own thing. Motorsports used to be a country-only affair in the 1930s, but now, it's all individual teams (no one would call Force India an Indian team). The only thing the league systems have done is pump more money into the sport and make it more attractive to play in, make the action slicker, and improve the general quality of the event i.e. mostly benefits. I'm still surprised that 6 years on, people still want IPL to be banned. With a little better administration, this could be the best thing to happen to cricket since Packer's WSC...making an avenue to open up the sport to more people, and increasing the viability of earning a decent living through just the sport itself.

  • Arrow011 on September 4, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    I think IPL has its place but it should be pruned & not removed entirely. 2 months is too long for a T20 tournament. Tests & ODIs should be the priority. Every team should play 15 tests & 30 ODIs as a norm. 105 days of cricket. Ian Botham is right in many ways but he sounds jealous of IPL alone, not BBL, CPL or any PL.

  • ghostOf_DonBradman on September 4, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding...if the indian team has been selected on the basis of IPL performance than it is selectors mistake not IPL's. However, Ravindra Jadeja has 3 300's in first class cricket ....so you still think he is in Test team for his IPL performance.... Raina is the best IPL player..but already have been dropped from Test team....so please don't give or support baseless logics......I am wondering to no end that how can people are relating test performances to IPL...cricket is evolving and indian adminstrators as well....it is continuous process...keep patience ...Test cricket is safe.....cheers

  • kartcric on September 4, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Test cricket is the soul of cricket.It was test cricket which was played first and not t20.Do give respect to it

  • kartcric on September 4, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Rahul dravid can play t20 but can a pollard ever play tests.Give more priority to tests .

  • YorkshirePudding on September 4, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    @S.Jagernat, you make some very interesting points especially about the IPL developing cricketers for the higher formats of the game, I agree it has not, we are possibly seeing the start of the impact of the IPL in test cricket with the current India team being the ones most exposed to it. the Indian test cricket team has declined significantly over the last 4 years, as players are picked on IPL performances, rather than on performances in the longer formats, and through their development in that format.

    If you look at the history of the game the 20 over version has existed for decades, often with rules about the max number of runs/batsman, and was largely limited to amateur teams who had finite time to play games (summer evenings, or weekends).

    The one thing I think ITB did get correct is the corruption aspect, where it is easier to put a fix on a T20 game than it is an OD or FC/test game, and due to amount of money in the IPL its easier to launder the proceeds.

  • on September 4, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    I guess if he thinks the ipl shouldn't exist because of the betting etc the same should be said about the Barclays primere leage. I think British people are highly jealous of the ipl. if england was to be chosen to host a season of the ipl all these people like sir ian will be singing a different tune..

  • baskar_guha on September 4, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    There is a point of view that this "speech" represents the last hurrah for MCC's conception of the sport. A sport played in a leisurely manner by affluent gentlemen while the plebians slog it out in the fields and factories. That world has ceased to exist, at least it is not as widespread. What we have now is a world where everyone and everything is about making the buck and a few hrs of sport is what is available in the pursuit of the quid or the rupee or the dollar. T20 like soccer or rugby or football or NBA fits the bill. Test cricket is more like golf -- the only ones who will follow it and watch it are the true addicts. Hopefully, there are enough of them.

  • on September 4, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    ipl found the gems in India. R Ashwin, sanju Samson, mohit Sharma, Jason holder, karan Sharma , dj bravo, rayudu don't see these people's success. ...simply to post comments. Don't say ipl to be banned.

  • IPL_is_Thrash on September 4, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    I am an INDIAN. IPL is evil. All cricketing nations should stop their players from participating in IPL. Players who participate in IPL, should not be allowed to play Test Cricket in National Team. IPL erodes fitness, vigour, dexterity, commitment of Player towards national duties.

  • S.Jagernath on September 4, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    People saying that the IPL has identified talent, no it has not! There has been no IPL player that was supposedly identified via the IPL that has gone on to have huge success at both ODI & Test levels for any sustained period. Some might argue David Warner has, no he has not yet proven anything yet. The IPL is like an Adam Sandler movie in comparison to a Woody Allen movie, which is like an Ashes test at Lords. The IPL has helped players financially, but the vast majority of the high earners are not cricketers who can produce performances of any quality at the upper levels of the game. To say Test cricket is the only cricket is also wrong, cricket existed in single & double wicket formats for centuries. I am quite happy to watch all cricket, all limited overs performances should not be taken to seriously, each format has it's diehard supporters but Test cricket offers the intellectual cricket supporter purity.

  • AQ13 on September 4, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    IPL?for the good of the game all T20s should be abolished

  • ghostOf_DonBradman on September 4, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    Hearing to Botham..makes you think hard about the existence of IPL... what i can say is : 1. First it can be honestly said that IPL has done well to anybody involved in it, players or administrators. 2. Nothing in this world is 100% and IPL is no exception. 3. Botham's remark that IPL should not have existed has came a way too late... as IPL is already in its 7 or 8th year. 4. First he said it should not have existed and then soon he complaint that IPL did not give money to cricket boards of other countries. (which is not 100% correct either). Why to complaint about something which you thing should not even exist. 5. It is a hard-fact that those are associated with it have find it difficult to talk against it...may it be Kallis or Ponting or Mitchel Johnson....2nd equally hard-fact is that those who are not associated with it, missed no chance to malign its image. Based on all the above considerations I think it is still open for debate whether IPL is good or not. For me it is GOOD.

  • gmsjgmsj on September 4, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    In cricket, as with other professional sports, money is the root of evil. Alogn with non recongition of sportsmen. IPL changed that. It gave hope to players who couldnt even dream of a national cap or didnt have recognition from their national or regional boards. it also gave them the exposure to international standards and the results are there for all to see. As been pointed out - Rahane, Jadeja, Dhawan, Steve Smith, Mitch Johnson, DuPlessis, etc. No doubt all these players were good products from their own system but no one can refute that they honed their skills in IPL and the competition it offers. Which brings us to what Ian Botham said. I could not justify his dislike for IPL because its powerful or ruins test cricket. I'd say that it strengthens the traditional form of the game by bringing previously unthought strategies to the field. The game itself is moving on and this format is ringing in the changes. The ICC needs to be aware of this too and change to increase attendance.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    I fully agree with Sir Ian Botham! Abolish the IPL!

  • Coolcapricorn on September 4, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    Why is Botham not equally bashing other T20 leagues like the Big Bash in Australia or the CPL in the West Indies? Although the IPL is perhaps too long & maybe should be held once every two years, I believe it has brought many good things to the game. It has promoted friendships between players & coaches of different nations, helped engender a greater understanding of cultural differences, boosted player's earnings, given opportunities to young players to learn from & mingle with the big stars or the foreign coaches in their team etc. For those who love the game, where else would you see two huge legends such as Ponting & Tendulkar batting together as they did for the Mumbai Indians! Just hope the Pakistani stars get included again & we see more English players too playing in the IPL as it is here to stay.

  • Suicide-Note on September 4, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    IPL is simply too lengthy . No one needs a tournament with so many many matches. Every year lots of fans watch the first few matches then skip the middle matches unless Gayle or Maxwell is batting and watch the the semi finals and finals Cut it short.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    @Skolla IPL is under no obligation to help other countries. It is INDIAN Premier League. It is meant to serve Indian interests. It helps other countries by offering the players from that countries a source of sizeable income, experience of batting on Indian pitches, experience of facing Indian spinners, facing other top cricketers from around the world. Was there ever talk about Country cricket not being there because it was attracting players from all around the globe in past? (it still does, but not to same extent). IPL is not an issue, issue is other cricketing boards not able to provide enough to their players. That is why they flock to IPL. How can you justify preventing players from earning their worth? Each sport has one or few powerful leagues. American football has NFL, Baseball a sport that originated in England has MLB in US, we have EPL/ La Liga for Football. Cricket has IPL. Deal with it. \ IPL helped India win WC where they kept chasing down targets big thanks to IPL.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    This is like saying the EPL should not exist in football coz it is too powerful

  • YorkshirePudding on September 4, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    @yoohoo, the state of the England ODI team has nothing to do with it not playing in the IPL it has everything to do with where the priorities of the ECB have been, in that they promote FC cricket and that they switched for 5 years to the inferior 40 over format rather than keeping a 50 over competition.

    Add on the selectors not knowing the best side to pick, and you have a perfect storm. Ideally you want to be looking bowlers who can change lines and lengths rather than test bowlers who are taught to consistently plug away at a line, inducing a nick to the slips which in ODI's you might be lucky to have 1 or 2 slips for the first few overs.

    It would go good to remove fielding restrictions for a series and see how batsmen do when they have traditional fields, and have to re-evaluate the risks of trying to go over the top.

  • anshu.s on September 4, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    @ Sir Ian Botham why don't you first take a look at so called best football league in the World EPL which is consumed by money,greed,overhype and overkill , EPL clubs mostly have players that are foreigners meaning English players hardly get a chance and English national team hardly wins anything.It goes on nonstop for nine months and by the time major international tournaments like World Cup or Euros come half the players are either injured for there national teams or physically drained to perform at there optimum level , in contrast IPL goes only for 45 days and players taking part in it have to obtain a NOC from there respective boards.BCB has banned Shaqib from participating for KKR ,can Argentina FA ever stop Lionel Messi from turning up for Barcelona ?? never ever in million years, clubs rule in football plus in IPL 10 % of total value of a player fees goes to home board of that player.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    Ban all gambling on sports including off course horse racing.

  • Straight666 on September 4, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    IPL is a domestic tournament in India and we enjoy it very much. Who cares what you think.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    "I'm worried about the IPL - in fact, I feel it shouldn't be there at all as it is changing the priorities of world cricket," Botham said. and Well said to be honest.

  • zarasibaat on September 4, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Not Agreeeeeeeeeed:). Why people like SIB dont give the perfect solution. The solution which could be acceptable for every one. Yes IPL is too long and players get tired but they need it because of handsom money. Instead of double league system IPL should be on single league format because 16-17 matches are too much for a player and after IPL it becomes very difficult give 100% in international matches. players cant complain because they are well paid by organisors but this is the responsibility of IPL, BCCI and ICC to look in to the matter and solve it. Every one has noticed that due to T20 cricket players are not appling good performance in Test cricket even players like Pujara and Kohli have failed to deliver. So shorten the IPL

  • yoohoo on September 4, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    @Kelum Wickramarachchi - Its very simple. Some Indian Fans hate IPL, but many of them understand that you can't blame everything on IPL and IPL has had many benefits as well.

    Look at England ODI team, and how badly not playing IPL has affected it. They have lost home series to SL and India back-to-back. When was the last time that happened to england?

    Players who were found/moulded in IPL - Warner, Watson, Rahane, Shami, Bhuvi, Vijay, Steve Smith, Rayudu, Jadeja, Ashwin, Narine, Raina

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    Going by this lame logic, Would Mr. Botham ban the EPL? coz it employs football's best players with lucrative salaries, not to forget it has its share of fixing and other troubles???

  • shane-oh on September 4, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    @Neel_123 - you're suggesting a World Cup in a sport that isn't played in between World Cups? I think you know how silly you sound.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    I totally disagree. I found the IPL more entertaining than watching both the Ashes this year and though I still like test cricket I love the IPL. Times change and things move on and evolve. Its attitude like this that makes England an extremely ordinary one day team. And if the players want to play it that clearly means they enjoy it more than playing test match cricket. As for all the destroying technique and so on, almost all the Australian players play the IPL and it didn't stop them from winning the Ashes. Infact the IPL was instrumental in Johnson regaining form. More than the IPL its the petty and jealous administrators that are causing the problem. The player's aren't slaves to it. They enjoy playing the IPL and that is a reality that board's must accept. Instead we have issues with arrogant boards being petty. As for the corruption statement Khurram Raza was spot on: "you don't cut your nose away if a fly sits on it, you fly the fly away." Accept change and accept the IPL.

  • shane-oh on September 4, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @Elango Periya Selvam M - that would be the best possible way to kill cricket. Nobody outside of India cares about the IPL, and even the Indian fans would tire of it if there was any more of it.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Both IPL type leagues and traditional cricket (read test cricket) could and should co-exist. They serve different purposes. In fact the leagues can cross-subsidize the tests. Resource allocation is the job of the administrators. They could and should plough back a significant part of the profits from the leagues to support Tests and Test cricketers.

    Market forces can't be artificially suppressed. It will resurface in some form or the other. And, test cricket is the ultimate test of cricketing talents. Co-existence and mutual support is the only practical solution. Eliminating either is wishful thinking.

  • kingcobra85 on September 4, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Its doing no harm to India in limited overs cricket so it should stay. England lost to Australia 5 - 0 lets ban county cricket

  • Skolla on September 4, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Could not agree more with Beefy from an idealistic perspective. IPL is a load of rubbish. But it is there and it generates a lot of revenue for cricket and increases the visibility of the game.

    Has it done anything to develop the game outside of India? No. If anything the game is in decline in all other countries.

    Which brings me to my primary problem with the IPL. Does it need to give the BCCI control of the game as a whole? India's abject performance against England in the recent Test series and the relatively poor attendance is a case in point.

    My solution would be to almost hand over control to the BCCI for 3 or 4 months of the year of the game. In this window they can play as many hit and giggle games as they can possibly fit in. IPL followed by a T20 world cup. They can dress players in Roman gladiator outfits and use magnetic bats and balls - so that it becomes even more unlikely that a batsman ever mishits - for all I care in this period.

  • Jalz007 on September 4, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    The solution does not lay in banning IP...the burning issue of corruption in cricket has to be addressed in its microsm. ICC is a powerful body & has been empowered to address this very issue....They have to devise a mechanism which can remove betting & corruption a the grass root level. Seminars, lectures & verbal volleys on this issue wont help in eradicating it...Its high time the powerful bodies like Cricket Australia, South Africa Cricket, England & Wales Board & BCCI work together on this burning issue & find a long term solution. IPL is 20/20 carnival devised to provide entertainment to cricket crazy fans, banning it wont help to solve the issue at large...

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    I don't know why do people point there fingers to IPL only while they seems ok with all the other franchise leagues. The cricket is evolving and so do the different forms of cricket. These leagues are making the game popular among small countries and IPL is playing the bigger part in that respect. Match fixing/corruption is there in cricket years before the league(IPL) started and is there in other franchise leagues also. We need to take some hard core steps to stop corruption and fixing instead of IPL. Is it(to stop IPL) just because in IPL the players are paid much more then they are paid in other leagues? If they have that kind of problem then they can stop/ban there players to take part in IPL. A lot of world class players likes miller, faulkner, narine, sanju from different countries get recognition because of IPL only and now they serving the there country.

  • Coolcapricorn on September 4, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Instead of bashing the IPL, Sir Ian Botham & the ECB should start embracing it as we can see for ourselves how poor & one-dimensional the English cricketers have been in the current ODI series against India. They will undoubtedly become better multifaceted players if they are allowed to take part in the IPL & other T20 leagues like the Big Bash in Australia. Moreover the IPL promotes friendships & gives players a greater understanding of cultural differences - so had the top English players been taking part in the IPL all these years, I sincerely believe we wouldn't have had this spat & bad-feeling between English & Indian players in the recent Test series.

  • Neel_123 on September 4, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    Don't agree with Botham. On the contrary BCCI should expand IPL twice a year: in March-April and then during festivals season October-November [when weather is pleasant in India]. There are 100+ of mid-level Indian cities which never hosted star-studded cricket matches. Readymade market available.

    Test cricket should be left alone to die peacefully. There is no scope of expanding test cricket to newer countries. Even the existing test nations are finding it hard to get sponsorships and spectators! Only England and Aus care for test cricket.

    Anyway there is no meaning of bilateral series wether tests or ODIs. ODIs should be limited only to World cups and champions trophy may be. Bilateral, trilateral series should be completely banned. Let all countries focus on developing their T20 clubs. May be 10 years down the line we could have a 'proper' Champions League.

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    I think an IPL should exist but it should be the International Premier League. Played in a different country every year, with sides qualifying to play, allowed to recruit overseas stars from none qualified teams and played under the jurisdiction of the ICC As it is now it's a domestic league, that dominates almost 15% of the cricketing year for all nations. It weakens domestic leagues, causes timetable issues and has lead to many top players quitting international cricket early to cash in. The clubs and national sides that have brought these players on, coached and invested in them for years - decades in some cases, are being short changed when players opt out after a few years to grab the IPL cash-cow None of that is good in the long run. IPL is a great spectacle, and it should continue, but not in its current form. It will destroy world cricket, and soon there will be no "stars" to recruit - because there will be no "stars" at all just T20 only players.

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    This is typical resistance to change. I say, make IPL an year-long league. Bring in more teams. Cut down internationals to a few windows, tournaments and years; cut them down to just Tests and ODI's perhaps, as they evolve in or out. Now more than ever, cricket is facing tough competition from other sports. If we don't want to lose our boys and girls to football, basketball, motorsports and even kabbadi we need to sex up cricket and make it remunerative. In doing that of course we need to develop checks and balances... and that's welcome! Don't lets throw out the baby with the bathwater.

  • ramli on September 4, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    @FlatTrakBully ... did anybody stop JA from earning in IPL? If he does not consider himself deserving, why the hell to be jealous?

  • BradmanBestEver on September 4, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    I agree with you Ian - very well said.

    Unfortunately it does exist. Money makes the world go around, the world go around.....

  • haqster499 on September 4, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    As a Pakistani -- even though Pakistani players are not selected to play in IPL -- the Indian Premier League has been great for cricket. Test cricket and ODI have benefited from the innovation the competition brings.

    Also IPL has helped create more jobs and it brings players around the world together. India like Pakistan has poverty -- so the revenue this sporting event is bringing is immense and one day I hope it overshadows with BPL, La Liga, NBA and NFL. I agree with Beefy on taking a harder stance against corruption and fixing -- but that should be across the cricketing world.

  • AncientAstronaut on September 4, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    By this logic, Mr. Botham, the EPL shouldn't exist either. But it does anyway, doesn't it?

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Yes, Botham's concerns are serious. But at the same time you cannot ban IPL altogether, which is a money spinner for so many international cricketers. May be Englishmen are not lured or so?. Corruption issue has to be addressed. No doubt BCCI is calling the shots in ICC as a powerful cricketing nation. It's high time ICC or for that matter BCCI to rein in the FIXING issue and do something seriously to protect the game of CRICKET.

  • DaisonGarvasis on September 4, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    So Botham thinks IPL is a problem and should not exist. What is his opinion about other T20 Leauges going around? Why pick IPL only? One should try to come across impartial when giving such grand leactures!!! Please!!!!

  • shane-oh on September 4, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @Just_love_it - there is literally not a single similarity between what Botham has said and what you have said.

  • FlatTrakBully on September 4, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Good point mate!! Because of IPL average player like Jadeja earns more than you and world's most skillfull bowler Anderson.

  • Mikelord on September 4, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    The problem is professionalism, in all forms of sport, which is why the IPL exists and people pay money to watch it. It's too late to abolish the IPL but perhaps it could be controlled better, especiall by those who do not make money ut of it!

  • udayduvvuru on September 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Cricket is an evolving game,like any other spectator sport.Games like football,baseball,basketball and few more are doing well all around the world,thanks to franchise sportisam.The La-liga and BPL are highly popular events held in Europe,this events have escalated image of individuals both on and off the field.Look at the players like Messi,di maria and many others would probably have been no where. So did the IPL,guys like miller,faulkner,narine,sanju samson could show their skills so early in a grand attire because of IPL.Even more importantly,domestic players are making a leaving out of it with pride and honor.Botham's criticism reflects englishmen's envy. Corruption has been part of cricket for years even before IPL was born.That is something which has to be tackled with strict measures but not by closing the doorway for budding and low-profile cricketers.

  • Xuanshu on September 4, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    IPL shouldn't exist ~ Ian Botham, Commentator, T20 Big Bash League.

    No issues with the Big Bash, Ram Slam, Natwest T20 Blast or CPL though. They're all great.. right?

    P.S. I am no fan of T20, IPL or any other T20 leagues.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    IPL, Big Bash and 20/ 20 cricket in general has changed the face of world cricket. I think most would agree that there are plenty of negative and positive effects for international cricket as we know it. But its here now and we have to deal with it. Its evolution.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Both IPL & champions league, Should be conducted once in two years.

  • Pathiyal on September 4, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    We are aware of every fact mentioned by Ian Botham. What needs to be done is a stricter constitution of IPL. everybody involved in the league have to sign on the 'do's and dont's', and anyone who is engaged in the 'dont's' will have to invariably undergo stricter consequences. the constitution/ the law enforcement body should be so strong that none should be allowed to fly on top of it. stopping the IPL is not a solution (but running away from the problems) as there are a number of sincere and honest ones already dedicated towards it. anyways, appreciate Ian Botham for speaking it out on a platform!

  • on September 4, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    Great work India. Come back strongly after poor test performances. Good ODI wins in England. England is not at all a good ODI side specially under Cook' s captaincy. I see that there is no reason to be up beat about it, wining against a historically poor ODI Team

  • Manic-M-Raj on September 4, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    Champion League too. Both should be reduces half to the no. of games or ditch out.

  • Just_love_it on September 4, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    It's like saying let's close all domestic football league in England / Europe because English team perfomance is pathetic at FIFA cup !

  • on September 4, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Good players now can live off only IPL, they can play 2 months of the year and live comfortably. International cricket is already feeling it and it will only get worse. Why slave away for 9 months of the year and have to actually have some skill when you can bowl and bat a few balls a game with your eyes closed and make millions? International cricket will be a 2nd tier soon and the end of cricket as we know it.

  • on September 4, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    couldn't have agree more.. spot on Mr Botham !

  • MaruthuDelft on September 4, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    When Ian Botham says or does something it must be taken serious.

  • on September 4, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    The BCCI has done a great job to create the IPL, it is an amazingly lucrative tournament, no one can deny this. However the standard of cricket is low and as certain fans on this thread have stated I rather see more International cricket than club cricket. Cricket still does not have a club culture though T20's is quickly changing that. I feel T20's need to exist since Test matches are doing poorly in most countries save for Australia and England, and hence T20's are needed to Bank Roll the longer formats. The disadvantage is that T20's (IPL Primarily) destroy a budding test cricketers game, I saw the England test series Vs India, Virat was just aweful....I believe he is the greatest batsman of this generation and he was playing schoolboy shots outside off to get out. It is not easy for players to switch from t20 mode to Test Mode in an instant, a batsman loses focus and gets used to playing the shorter format.

  • on September 4, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    There is one thing i would like to point out . IPL as a concept is not new. There are other tournamnets which have own players for a part of the calendar year and has not given anything to the boards. Anything that becomes successful attracts both positive and negatives. In IPLs case its attracting negatives from the people sitting outside and watching helplessly.

  • Silwal on September 4, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    Its just a phase. In current era and scenario, it will evolve like soccer, with more leagues and more clubs evolving. The game will be made more exciting. Betting will become legalized. Its Ok Mr. Botham, test cricket got shortened to 5 days from timeless tests. So to all the people, who just consider cricket of their time the true cricket, please just get over it.

  • IndCricFan2013 on September 4, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Sports is mainly played for entertaining the people. People get entertained in Test cricket, ODI as well as T20. IPL is also a great entertainer. On one ca deny th entertainment to people, because there are issues. Issues needs to be resolved. It is the ICC and other cricketers who are not coming out strong to fix the issues in hand IPL or not. So, do not tell the people, we won't entertain you because we can not find ways to fix issues.

  • doubtingthomas on September 4, 2014, 5:48 GMT

    Many thanks to Mr. Botham for addressing the elephant in the room. Much of the under-performance in Cricket, injuries to players, and lack of enthusiasm towards Test Cricket can be directly attributed to IPL. It has to go in order for Cricket to thrive in true spirit.

  • on September 4, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    I second Aksharan views.

    The system needs to be beefed up to avoid the corruption and imbalance.

    In India, IPL is giving financial support for the budding players. Earning bucks through right system is welcome everywhere.

    As we look out for all the ex-cricks Comments, why don't they give strong suggestions to make it better instead of pointing the problem again.

  • on September 4, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    I agree , i would like to see india play 7 more test matches, 8 more ODIs and 6 more 20-20 international games during that time rather than IPL matches. After all test matches are memorable and ultimate test for any team to compete. lets not waste time on ipl , IPL has craze factor but the matches are not memorable and it will not matter for the sport. IPL is just there because it provides entertainment but it will do no good to the sport.

  • on September 4, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Actually Boards should thank IPL that they ask a player whether he has permission from the respective Country to play in IPL. If IPL starts admitting Cricketers without the Country's approval then many players will quit their National teams forever! The thing is not all Countries pay good salary to their players. Some Countries don't even pay the players for years together. What should the players do for money? West Indies, Sri Lanka etc; have not paid salaries for ages. Anyway England players hardly participate in IPL and I am happy not to see their faces in our tournament. Botham needs to chill.

  • on September 4, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    It is fashionable to blame the IPL for everything that's wrong in world cricket. Betting was around in world cricket long before IPL was even thought of. Stopping the IPL is like a symptomatic treatment for a disease which has a completely different root cause, like taking pain killers for cancer. Spot fixing happened in Eng-Pak tests before it happened in IPL. It is not common sense to say that IPL provides the platform for fixing. Fixing will be around as long as there are players with shallow morals and a weak monitoring system. And, how on earth did he fail to mention that T20 professional leagues started in England, and why does he also not mention the BIg Bash or the CPL or the BPL, which also owns some of the big names of world cricket for a couple of months every year.

  • on September 4, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    IPL is future of cricket...It will stay here for ever...It will only grow more and more powerful...Is this fact that difficult to comprehend for some people??...

  • CrackerDaddy on September 4, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    You r my hero then and you my hero now...hate this T20..it makes the Gentlemen aspect of this game out of this beautiful game. Thank you Sir Ian Botham. ( I hope you publish this)

  • subratachakrabarty on September 4, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    I am not surprised to see the comments made by Mr. Botham. He is worried about corruption in cricket. But what surprises me is on one hand we say that its widely popular and on other hand we are criticizing it. U love it or u hate it, u follow IPL. I think everything brings a good and bad side along with itself. And let's not compare IPL with EPL, La Liga and UEFA Champions League. Those are old tournaments and have their own history. IPL is in its initial stages, may be just 7 years old. Over the period of time, it will evolve. No doubt there are players who are involved in unethical activities; however, let's not forget that it brought forward some of the coolest player we have like Sanju Samson, Rahane, etc. It might take time but I believe that IPL got hell lot of potential to bring out the best players from India and give them opportunity to play and learn from International cricketers.

  • 11_Warrior on September 4, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    So far how many English players has participated in IPL auction?

  • suneej on September 4, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    IPL is a good plat form and have no doubt that introduction of t20 and ipl given new dimension to the game.Certain things Sir.Botham mentioned is valid .I do believe that post IPL the standard of indian test cricket team has dropped considerably. Although our players are talented ,they lack patience of playing hardcore cricket 5 day long. During the past 3 past away test series (barring short series in SA & Newzeland) the body language of indian players shows they are not interested at all,and somehow they want to finish. Test cricket is the supreme format of the game.ICC is responsible to keep its standard period.

  • subbuamdavadi on September 4, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    @Annihalator...to counter you point by point....soccer DOES NOT have only one format...there are many other formats that are governed by FIFA...beach futball, futsal - to name but two. The Champions League attracts the best clubs and thereby the best players...hence the quality of football is generally good. But Maribor vs BATE...I am sure will not be the same as Barca vs Liverpool! Also if CL were to be played in Beach Football format, I am not sure how good the quality would be. IPL, in spite of all its problems does throw up quite a few good matches and performances. Regarding prestige of EPL, La Liga etc., they were not built in a day...give IPL a chance, 50 years later, it will also be prestigious. Footballers not choosing club over country? Read what Hodgson said during the FIFA WC. See yesterday's story on Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany...in fact it is much more common there than in cricket. Stop blaming the IPL for all cricket's ills....

  • ChannuKapoor on September 4, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Can't agree more with Botham. Each and every word he said was pure gold. If the admistrators are listening i think they need to make some quick decisions. IPL is all about money and is hurting everybody as it does not look sustainable. Look at the mental strength of Indian Test cricket team.

  • pandian_ikku on September 4, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    200% agree. IPL ruined world cricket. That is what happen when you give such a massive power to a single cricket board. After all IPL is just a domestic tournament and world cricket should not be impacted by it at all.

  • newrichhater on September 4, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    Has IPL done any good to Indian Cricket? Leave alone the pathetic situation of Indian test cricket which is the direct result of IPL. What happened to India at the last T20 WC. They were beaten by Sri Lanka which is 60 time smaller than India in terms of population. The previous time they were sent home much earlier. I wish India all the best at the next WC in Aus & NZ. It is only some individuals who gain ultimately from IPL but not the game or the national teams.

  • Annihalator on September 4, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    totally agree with sir ian. those who cite the epl, note that soccer has only 1 format and the quality of football played in big matches such as the champions league is very high as compared to ipl which is utter trash. also epl,la liga, bundesliga and champions league have alot of history and prestige. also it doenot happen that players choose club over country even for a friendly match, unlike ipl (sunil narine) t20 cricket shud not be treated as a genuine format. a worldt20 every 2 years is enuf and domestic leagues with no foreigners shud be played so that international schedule shud not be harmed

  • on September 4, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    In India, young cricketers do not have the motivation to play for the Ranji State team or even in the team for India. IPL has become their attraction for several reasons , but the main one is MONEY. In a short period you can make a lot of money! Also because of its wide popularity, if one does well, one can get selected for India. Rahane and Rayudu, MOhit Sharma are typical examples. The BCCI is trying to get other methods like India A, under 19 tournaments to find talent but IPL seems to be the preferred option.

  • on September 4, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    It's really difficult to understand the behaviour of the Indian fans towards IPL. Whenever Indian cricket team perform poorly in test cricket (specially in overseas conditions like 2011 in England & Australia & 2014 again in England) or whenever they fail in global events like T20 WC in 2009 & 2010 (due to fatigue factor as those 2 events held after IPL seasons) Indian fans trash IPL. And also whenever there's allegations of match fixing or betting in IPL came up they simply criticized like it's the hell of cricket. But when an outsider criticizes IPL they rally around to blast that person by pointing many positive factors in it & to a certain extend hitting him personally as well. So I wonder how the same IPL is bad when it's criticized by Indian fans themselves and how it becomes great all of a sudden when a foreigner goes against it with well explained factors. So do Indian fans think that criticizing IPL is a reserved right for them..... REALLY DIABOLICAL ..........

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 4, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I see many Sri Lankan fans praising Ian Botham here. Very surprising given how much their country's cricketers love and respect the IPL. Do I sense jealousy ? The IPL won't be shaken. Beefy is obviously frustrated at how India humbled England in ODI cricket. Thanks to the IPL, India will do well in limited overs cricket for many many years. Also due to the IPL, players like Maxwell, Warner, KP, Gayle, De Villiers etc will make good living and continue to entertain billions of fans in India and overseas. The IPL has done so much good for cricket. It has brought players from various cultures together in brotherhood. Test cricket has only divided players and brought sledging into the game. IPL has united players. Take your pick.

  • on September 4, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    The people who are saying that IPL is ruining test cricket are the same people praising the intensity of recent series such as SA v Aus, and Eng v SL. In fact, the general and popular comments after those matches were "whoever said test cricket was dead". wish people would start thinking for themselves and not latch onto the sentiment of every story on Cricinfo.

  • sapnil2000 on September 4, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    totally agree with gotham.it already weakened and ruin some teams like NZ, WI, srilanka and australia. stop Ipl for crickets future

  • on September 4, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    I think county should not exist, all started from there

  • Chn2 on September 4, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    To have a big poll of professional cricketer, big money is needed and a player will turn pro only when he see the opportunity. IPL is just providing that. For the sake of cricketer and also cricket fan IPL is a must. The entertainment level of IPL is only next to the Worldcup.

  • ara123 on September 4, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Well said. I think our own great Arjuna Ranatunga has been saying this for awhile now.

  • fredie on September 4, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    IPL is the best opportunity for youngsters as well as for those who are one day and t20 players (eg raina. morgan,yuvraj) who are not good test players and may not get another opportunity to play at test level.I think its up to the respective board to decide who should play ipl and who should not.Eng would benefit a lot (for ODI)if hales,butler,stokes,root can play in it.

  • on September 4, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    With the recent England tour results Indian team clearly shown the appetite to Test Cricket. This is mainly due to the more emphasis given to the shorter formats like IPL. If IPL continues, it will destroy Test cricket in India itself. This is not my observation, the recent results shows it beautifully.

  • on September 4, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    my respect for you lifted to another level sir!

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 4, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Mr. Ian Botham, I feel test cricket should not even exist. Does that make my opinion stand tall ? The same can be said about your baseless argument regarding the IPL. The IPL is here to stay Beefy. Not you, not the ECB, not even the BCCI can do anything about it when the fans have a say. Besides, the IPL has done more good for the sport and the players. Before you lecture about the IPL, take a good hard look at the current condition of the England team in limited overs cricket. I don't have to comment any more.

  • newrichhater on September 4, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Well said Ian ! Imagine the situation of world cricket in another twenty five years if IPL continues like this. The decent game of the gentlemen that we grew up with will be dead and gone many years ago.

  • on September 4, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Totally disagree with Ian Botham. Total rubbish, if we go according to his analogy "How on earth did the IPL own the best players in the world for two months a year and not pay a penny to the boards who brought these players into the game?", then players should also pay the boards portion from their endorsements.

  • sandy_bangalore on September 4, 2014, 2:59 GMT

    As an Indian, I complete agree! IPL is nothing but entertainment with mediocre sloggers with no technique becoming overnight millionaires. And hijacked by bollywood. This so called spectacle has done Indian cricket immense harm, as evident in all the test thrashings that the team has received over the last 3 years

  • rajcan on September 4, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Mr. Botham is a legend, but he is only concern about cricket not living with reality. Test cricket is a game and batsmen and bowlers have to have real talent to succeed. Bowlers need to take 20 wickets in a game where batsmen have no hurry to score runs in a specific run rate or they have no worries of limited overs. The game was invented and played when everyone had enough time in their hand. Now in the world, people don't find 5 days to watch a game or even two days continuously to watch a game, We all can argue, test cricket is a true cricket game and every nation has to play. But, looking at the amount of spectators who comes to the ground to watch test cricket shows it's popularity. Cricket is not about England, Australia and India playing. It should have a format every nation can play such as soccer, hocky, baseball and basket ball. T20 and 50 overs game are of good formats. Issue is one nation, India has total control over ICC and dedicate 2 months for their IPL games.

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    IPL makes Indian players so good they have won only one away series in the past year. I mean they have only lost 3 test and 2 odi series in that time.

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:43 GMT

    I totally agree with you Ian. IPL is too powerful and the players have lost the sense of technicality in cricket which is evident in the standard of Test Cricket played nowadays. Indian players are the big losers in Test Arena as they have flawed techniques due to this stupid IPL. Every country has taken the steps to follow this and the players are indeed slaves to these franchises.

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    I had been following cricket for more than six decades; cricket in general and Indian cricket in particular.

    There had been innovations in cricketing skills (batting, bowling & fielding), even before the advent of IPL. But they were slow, marginal, and incremental in "centrally controlled " tournaments like Ranji and Duleep. All the evils also existed to a smaller extent.

    Changes are not only in skills , but also in mindsets. Many past greats are showing reluctance to adopt the new mindset.

    Most of the new developments in the skill-set are the by-products of IPL, which is run by the "market economy". Any system which moves from the centrally controlled economy to market economy creates its losers and gainers. It is a trade-off. A conscious trade-off. But, the net effect had been positive.

    Indians have succeeded in adapting many of those new skills to ODI. Yes, I agree that they could not do so, as well, in tests. I feel sad about that. But does it warrant abolition of IPL?

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    why do you forget because of ipl few good players are seen which were unknown. In india because of IPL all other sports are becoming popular.like kabadi,football,tennis. Always go for the best and corruption is upto the individual who should be educated .

  • Siva_Bala75 on September 4, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Botham has failed to articulate what is the problem leave alone how he wants it to be solved. If the issue is 'corruption' then yes it has to be killed. However, corruption is not unique to IPL but linked to the very basic human nature of 'greed' and it has existed for very long time and will continue to exist as long as humans live. This does not mean corruption should be tolerated rather there should be steps taken to prevent it but that does not mean killing IPL. Secondly, if his issue is that IPL is too big and even bigger than ICC then it is to do with another human nature namely 'jealousy' that beckons certain people and ICC who have ignored 'market forces' and have been in a state of denial. The fact remains that for a period of 2 months, there is a group of 'willing buyers' and 'willing sellers' and to interfere in that you need very strong reasons- not definitely those that have been articulated here.

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    If English and other European Soccer leagues exist without any problems for International matches why should IPL be blamed for deterioration of cricket . It is absolutely necessary to weed out the corruption but you do not have to kill a patient to cure a disease.

  • on September 4, 2014, 2:05 GMT

    Thank you Botham for being forthright and bold in stating what is good for the game of cricket.

  • on September 4, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    finally someone calls spade a spade. While it may be a strong statement to make, but does have a point, too much money & too much power in hands of a very few is recipe for disaster. Kudos, Beefy!

  • Fanatic_cricko on September 4, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    An extremely professional and timely article by Sir Botham. This was needed to be raised and a man like Botham had the courage to speak without fear. Liked it Sir Botham. You are really a man of courage. We need people like you in ICC for the betterment of Cricket

  • SPotnis on September 4, 2014, 1:08 GMT

    Sir Ian I agree 100%. I am a Indian, my blood is Indian yet I find difficult to associate myself with modern day Indian cricket. I affection for Indian cricket retired with Gavaskar's retirement. Cricket in India is all money driven

  • looloogun on September 4, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    agreed well said mr botham .but the problem lies in ipl not being controlled by all international body .scrap ipl window for bcci .form a world premier league governed by a world body like icc .let all countries from europe asia or pacific sent their own team ,trade players on their own from any country under icc guidelines each team lets say a CSK or bigbash team ,build their own brand in the market like a manchester club and earn money instead of investing huge money and paying to their boards and gaining nothing not even able to advertise their original brands independently .if you want room for domestic players go and identify them by playing exhibition matches all around the world during offseason with domestic players and emerging players and build a team and brand .freedom and control under one body with global guidelines and corruption control and uninamity among everyone .development.

  • on September 4, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    European (including English) league football had been in existence for decades.

    They don't accord equal opportunities to even a fraction of all the talented footballers in the world. Corruption also exists in professional football, including betting and match fixing. Often the footballers excel for their clubs and put up a poor show for their national teams. All the 'evils' of league cricket, exist in football too, that too with greater intensity and longer periods.

    Football clubs are also powerful brands. Man U or Chelsea are even more powerful brands in Kolkatta, than its own IPL league KKR. Would Botham plead for pruning away all the League football?

    Why pick on IPL? It is an Indian league. Which provides a great forum for identification and development of many a young Indian cricketer, who otherwise would never have had an opportunity to exhibit and develop his skills.

    At best, he can ask for his Board not to allow "its" players to participate in IPL.

  • ARad on September 4, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Botham was one of my favorite players during his playing days and I admire his charity work but... based on his TV commentaries, I would hardly consider him to be the ideal person for giving a lecture.

    His comments about IPL has merit. While it offers financial benefit to a few cricketers, even Indian fans have to admit that a number of players receiving big contracts are not necessarily the best or the most admired players. Since IPL pays a lot of dough for two month worth of work and even then a few hours every couple of days or so, it may not make players strive for sustained international success or make that extra push when the going gets tough. The circus atmosphere (e.g., the corporate-sponsor parties/events), undisclosed deals between management and players, increased potential for match-fixing are all further unresolved issues with not much solution in sight.

  • Jama on September 4, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    Totally agree with Mr Botham, I am an Indian and i feel IPL should be banned forever and there should be a test league instead in Australia or South Africa so Batsmen learn to play on Fast Pitches.

  • IndianEagle on September 4, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    10% of players fees goes to boards and 1.5 million $ if player chooses IPL team in CLT20. don't you know that Mr Botham? corruption has long history, don't confuse corruption with IPL!

  • perl57 on September 4, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    So does England county league.

  • S.Jagernath on September 4, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    The IPL is allowed to be as powerful as it is or as it is perceived to be, by the other cricket boards. If all cricket boards treat the IPL as India's domestic T20 league, rather than a world event, although it seems to be more of a touring circus to me. Ian Botham cannot stop the IPL, India are allowed to have a domestic T20 competition.

  • on September 4, 2014, 0:13 GMT

    I'm glad that Botham has at least pointed out the obvious. Unlikely to make a dent, but it has to start somewhere.

  • MYCHOOTY on September 4, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    well said. ipl is destroying real cricket

  • on September 4, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Let Cricket grow, please let the old ideologies die. Ian Botham is no visionary, not then, not now, not ever. If anyone is too scared of the IPL, then the boards should restrict their players from participating, we will see how long they last.

  • SnowSnake on September 3, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    While I agree that IPL is destroying international cricket, I am hard core capitalist. So, let it happen because if International cricket cannot compete with IPL then it should get what it deserves. Promoting certain type of cricket just because Botham or anyone else thinks that it should be promoted is not right. Who are these people to decide what is right for the consumer? Let the free markets do their thing. Just test the consumers as to what they want to watch.

  • on September 3, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I do agree with the view point on there being huge chances of corruption. But, let's look at the positive side of all this - Maxwell, Warner, Raina, Miller, etc. are all products of the IPL in a way. They performed on the big stage and are world class players. ECB isn't letting their players play in the IPL, which not only deprives them of the money, but also the chance to mingle with players from other parts of the world. All this does effect England cricket - in limited overs cricket. They may have won a T20 WC. But, times have changed a lot since and their best player from the tournament is sitting out. Look at them in ODI's against India! Teams chasing 200+ in 30 overs is a result of IPL like tournaments.

  • barrick on September 3, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    I've long believed that the main problem with central contracts is that it takes the elite away from those who are aspiring to the elite; the next generation of players do not get to compete regularly with the best, and so come into international cricket unprepared.

  • lloydsharma on September 3, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    i agree with the IPL bit. The best part of cricket is watching Test Cricket and sadly that has been lost in the last 4 years.

  • Batmanian on September 3, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Not sure you can say it shouldn't exist. It's obviously got a very impressive market feeding its wealth. I guess I don't dislike T20, but for me, cricket is all about Tests. While I enjoy all but the most mismatched Tests, part of the excitement is waiting for a series, picking it over during the lulls like IPL and the harebrained one day series. Part of me wants twenty-five Australia Tests a year, but probably fourteen or fifteen is optimal in terms of the expectation, the work loads and so on. So, IPL's a pretty harmless break from cricket more most of us, I guess, with the upside of enriching even third-string players. It's things like the Australian, England and RSA T20 leagues that I would dump (and maybe let those countries send an eleven each to the IPL and CPL, which could be held simultaneously, perhaps with shared finals).

  • Nerav on September 3, 2014, 23:16 GMT

    "Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it." because people watch it and it makes money.

  • Jaysun on September 3, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Every sport over a period of time continues to get evolved. I suppose Cricket is no exception to that. Like an English Premier League Foot ball, IPL has been functioning as a professional sport. I beg to disagree the comments made by a respected cricketer such as Botham. The fact is every country tried to run it in one form or the other but have failed to sustain to continue to run the event. Can Botham deny that IPL has been a window for many youngsters who managed to breakthrough into their respective national side? Contrary to Botham's opinion, IPL has brought out quiet a few talents. Ultimately the responsibility lies on the individual sports person who should exhibit integrity and not blame it on the event. Many countries are totally jealous of the success of the event.Why can't Botham request the English Premier League to scrapped all together? Despite running it for many years it is a pity that England can't even get into the second round of the world cup event.

  • Philip_Gnana on September 3, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Kerry Packer did exist along side with ODI's...T20 can co-exist along side with IPL. It is a matter of how we want to cope with it.

  • on September 3, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    How on Earth can you say that? Mr. Botham, you don't cut your nose away if a fly sits on it, you fly the fly away. If IPL is corrupt, take the corruption away. We need IPL. Test Cricket was the best cricketing format, but lets face the truth, ain't nobody want it now. T20 cricket is the future of cricket. And IPL is its biggest tournament. Period.

  • on September 3, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Must agree with Sir Ian Botham 100% here regarding IPL

  • kanindian on September 3, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    What Botham has said in the lecture I do not agree to it. Corruption and fixing is not only prevailing in cricket. Even other games have it, only that it is not yet exposed. Soccer also has it. Botham is mainly concerned that the English players can not play in the IPL because it clashes with the English season and they are not able to make the money which other international cricketers are making like Australian, South African and even Sri Lankans are making. The only cricketer from English soil who has been consistent is Eoin Morgan. And also the standard of cricket in the IPL has tremendously improved the performance of Indian players in general. England players feel that the absence of their players in the cash rich IPL has not only proved that they are all the more poorer financially but they also lack the attacking play which clearly shows in the rankings in the shorter format of the game. hariharan

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  • kanindian on September 3, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    What Botham has said in the lecture I do not agree to it. Corruption and fixing is not only prevailing in cricket. Even other games have it, only that it is not yet exposed. Soccer also has it. Botham is mainly concerned that the English players can not play in the IPL because it clashes with the English season and they are not able to make the money which other international cricketers are making like Australian, South African and even Sri Lankans are making. The only cricketer from English soil who has been consistent is Eoin Morgan. And also the standard of cricket in the IPL has tremendously improved the performance of Indian players in general. England players feel that the absence of their players in the cash rich IPL has not only proved that they are all the more poorer financially but they also lack the attacking play which clearly shows in the rankings in the shorter format of the game. hariharan

  • on September 3, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Must agree with Sir Ian Botham 100% here regarding IPL

  • on September 3, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    How on Earth can you say that? Mr. Botham, you don't cut your nose away if a fly sits on it, you fly the fly away. If IPL is corrupt, take the corruption away. We need IPL. Test Cricket was the best cricketing format, but lets face the truth, ain't nobody want it now. T20 cricket is the future of cricket. And IPL is its biggest tournament. Period.

  • Philip_Gnana on September 3, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Kerry Packer did exist along side with ODI's...T20 can co-exist along side with IPL. It is a matter of how we want to cope with it.

  • Jaysun on September 3, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Every sport over a period of time continues to get evolved. I suppose Cricket is no exception to that. Like an English Premier League Foot ball, IPL has been functioning as a professional sport. I beg to disagree the comments made by a respected cricketer such as Botham. The fact is every country tried to run it in one form or the other but have failed to sustain to continue to run the event. Can Botham deny that IPL has been a window for many youngsters who managed to breakthrough into their respective national side? Contrary to Botham's opinion, IPL has brought out quiet a few talents. Ultimately the responsibility lies on the individual sports person who should exhibit integrity and not blame it on the event. Many countries are totally jealous of the success of the event.Why can't Botham request the English Premier League to scrapped all together? Despite running it for many years it is a pity that England can't even get into the second round of the world cup event.

  • Nerav on September 3, 2014, 23:16 GMT

    "Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it." because people watch it and it makes money.

  • Batmanian on September 3, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Not sure you can say it shouldn't exist. It's obviously got a very impressive market feeding its wealth. I guess I don't dislike T20, but for me, cricket is all about Tests. While I enjoy all but the most mismatched Tests, part of the excitement is waiting for a series, picking it over during the lulls like IPL and the harebrained one day series. Part of me wants twenty-five Australia Tests a year, but probably fourteen or fifteen is optimal in terms of the expectation, the work loads and so on. So, IPL's a pretty harmless break from cricket more most of us, I guess, with the upside of enriching even third-string players. It's things like the Australian, England and RSA T20 leagues that I would dump (and maybe let those countries send an eleven each to the IPL and CPL, which could be held simultaneously, perhaps with shared finals).

  • lloydsharma on September 3, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    i agree with the IPL bit. The best part of cricket is watching Test Cricket and sadly that has been lost in the last 4 years.

  • barrick on September 3, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    I've long believed that the main problem with central contracts is that it takes the elite away from those who are aspiring to the elite; the next generation of players do not get to compete regularly with the best, and so come into international cricket unprepared.

  • on September 3, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I do agree with the view point on there being huge chances of corruption. But, let's look at the positive side of all this - Maxwell, Warner, Raina, Miller, etc. are all products of the IPL in a way. They performed on the big stage and are world class players. ECB isn't letting their players play in the IPL, which not only deprives them of the money, but also the chance to mingle with players from other parts of the world. All this does effect England cricket - in limited overs cricket. They may have won a T20 WC. But, times have changed a lot since and their best player from the tournament is sitting out. Look at them in ODI's against India! Teams chasing 200+ in 30 overs is a result of IPL like tournaments.