One cap doesn’t fit all
There is no cap on the amount of money a franchisee can shell out to buy a team. There’s no cap on the amount of money the IPL can make from any deal of any kind. It can aggregate into thousands of crores and the cash just keeps flowing.
Is there any accountability?
But there is a cap on the amount of money a player can make from the IPL. Strange isn’t it?
Every team has a Terminator
While recently there was a lot of boasting about IPL teams being costlier than certain English football clubs, the IPL is ensuring that no player will ever match English footballer levels.
The hike in cap from $5 million to $7 million is still peanuts. You can spend $370 million to buy a team, but can pay only $7 million collectively for all the players of a team!
Sachin and the T20 WC
Four matches. 176 runs in 113 balls at a strike rate of more than 150 per cent. That’s Sachin Tendulkar’s IPL story this season.
It’s led to a clamour by a lot of people (including ex-captains) that he should play for the T20 World Cup, just round the corner.
The fact that we crashed out of the last T20 WC pretty early may also have something to do with it.
IPL 2010: Full Coverage
But I don’t think that Sachin will take his decisions in such a knee-jerk manner. He is doing whatever he is to prolong his career. He probably firmly has his eyes on the greatest prize: The 2011 ODI World Cup, which may well be his last chance to be part of a World Cup winning team.
He might retire and concentrate on Tests after that. The legendary Clive Lloyd played international cricket till the age of 40.
Only fast bowlers retire early.
Remember Atul Bedade?
In the 1990s, Bedade hit a record number of sixes in domestic cricket (or so the commentators told us) and entered the ODI scene.
I remember him hitting four sixes in his first final versus Pakistan in Sharjah. After that he came down the order, got out during the slog overs a few times, remained not out on low scores a few times and then was dropped never to be seen again.
That used to happen a lot in those days. You had to hit a century in your first few matches or you faced the chance of early retirement.
The IPL has changed that. Apart from being a lucrative retirement home, it’s good at finding and keeping talent.
An example is Robin Uthappa who hasn’t played a single international match in 20 months and yet remains in the limelight thanks to his knocks like the 38-ball 68 versus Chennai Super Kings.
In the olden days the bench would rust and fade away slowly. Now the bench plays IPL and remains fighting fit.
Dalai Lama and the IPL
Dharamsala is the home of the Dalai Lama and also houses the Dharamsala Cricket Stadium.
Now the city is going to host an IPL match and it is reported that the Dalai Lama will attend. That would be something.
While the IPL has seen loads of VIPs from the worlds of Bollywood, business and politics, this is something different.
But His Holiness is no stranger to cricket. Some time back he was chief guest at a Himachal Pradesh state legislators cricket match.
Then a few years back when there was talk of him inaugurating an Indo-Pak match in India, the Pakistan Cricket Board, facing pressure from China, refused to let such a thing happen.
Well, there are no Pakistani players in the IPL this time!
An IPL IPO?
There was a rumour that India Cements talked of an IPO for their team Chennai Super Kings.
If that could happen, then it would be really something. Cricket and Bollywood is already a heady mix. Imagine adding the stock market to that.
Fans owning a stake in the team would sure raise the stakes in terms of support. Would the stock prices go up and down at the end of every match?