Saturday, April 24, 2010

IPL 3 and its aftermath

The controversy surrounding IPL has become so murky that one is not able to make sense of it.

Lalit Modi is no doubt a brilliant innovator and marketing man. As one who has no special interest in cricket, I admire the way IPL secured the free-to-net rights on You Tube; probably the first major sporting event in the world to be aired live on the net.

He remains defiant of his innocence and is portraying himself as the fall guy. Whilst the controversy has already bagged its first victim in Shashi Tharoor, its hard to believe that Modi is whiter than white as he is portraying himself to be.

At the time of writing this post, almost all the franchisee owners have come out in support of Lalit Modi, the Commissioner of IPL and whose brain child it was. These owners include the Bollywood brigade, Vijay Mallya, Subroto Roy, Jay Mehta and many others.

However to the ordinary fan, a clean up of the tournament (if one is needed), and a smooth running is required to bring the focus back to the sport rather than its organization. After all it is the fan who pays for the extravaganza that is IPL. And let us not forget the fact that the IPL is owned by the BCCI, and the BCCI represents INDIAN cricket. The traditionalists in cricket would love to see the IPL fail and are revelling in the current controversy. It is time for the administrators to not only clean up the game but also to deliver the perception of cleaning up.

As a neutral, a few points:

- there shouldnt be any need for franchisee owners to declare their share holding pattern. they are business enterprises and like any other private enterprise, they should divulge what is required of private businesses and no more

- Shashi Tharoor may be naive, guilty, a fall guy, whatever. Doesnt mean Lalit Modi is taint free

- IPL has transformed the marketing and consumption of cricket world wide. It would be a shame if it had a short shelf life

- The IPL is Lalit Modi's baby. However he is not bigger than the IPL

- The system always wins

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