SPOT-FIX­ING CHARGES DROPPED!

Alive - - Controversy -

How­ever, with the change in dy­nam­ics from this sea­son, the own­ers no longer have to pay an an­nual fran­chise fee cou­pled with a huge surge in as­sured in­come from the cen­tral pool. With the re­sult, all eight fran­chises are ex­pected to earn a mas­sive amount.

Rs. 250 crore for each

For in­stance, each fran­chisee is as­sured of at least Rs 250 crore from the cen­tral pool by the BCCI. Sources in the Tamil Nadu Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion con­firm that, apart from the said sum, the gate re­ceipts and in­come from team spon­sors would en­able each fran­chisee to earn not less than Rs 300 crore. When it comes to ex­penses, player and coach fee, along with op­er­a­tional costs, are not ex­pected to ex­ceed Rs 150 crore.

The IPL has also in­spired the mush­room­ing of leagues across the cricket play­ing world. For in­stance, the United Arab Emi­rates had re­cently or­gan­ised a ten-over tour­na­ment, where former In­dian play­ers like Viren­dra Shewag par­tic­i­pated. The West Indies Board is also con­tem­plat­ing for a 100-over tour­na­ment to at­tract the cricket fans all over the world.

When In­dia re­fused to play the first day-night test match pro­posed by the Aus­tralian Cricket Board, many eye-brows were raised, but the BCCI quickly changed its gear by or­gan­is­ing an in­au­gu­ral test match against Afghanistan at Ban­galuru, sched­uled from July 14, this year. With the IPL of­fer­ing fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity to a wide range of crick­eters, it has en­cour­aged other cricket na­tions like Sri Lanka to make a sim­i­lar at­tempt, but the harsh re­al­ity has dawned on the Lankan Board, that it would be well­nigh-im­pos­si­ble to stage such a tour­na­ment in their coun­try, un­til and un­less it is blessed by the BCCI.

The mas­sive suc­cess of IPL has also en­cour­aged other sport­ing as­so­ci­a­tions to have their own leagues with at­trac­tive prize money. How­ever, it is a no­ble ges­ture on the part of the BCCI, when it has de­cided to as­sist other sport­ing as­so­ci­a­tions in In­dia fi­nan­cially for the growth of other dis­ci­plines.

Com­ing to this year’s IPL tour­na­ment, the much fan­cied CSK won the eleventh In­dian Premier League com­pe­ti­tion with thump­ing suc­cess. In the one-sided fi­nal, the team led by Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni, made a mince-meat of the Op­po­si­tion team, Kings Eleven Hy­der­abad led by Kane Wil­liamson, in the Wankhede Sta­dium, at Mum­bai re­cently.

The cov­eted one-and-ahalf month tour­na­ment that be­gan on April seven this year, with eight fan­cied teams, led by their fran­chises, and con­cluded on May 27, proved be­yond doubt, the supremacy of CSK over its ri­vals. Not for once, Dhoni and his men led their guard down, even though they lost a few games to other teams like Kings XI Pun­jab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Dare Devils, be­fore reach­ing the qual­i­fier stage with 18 points in its kitty.

There is no iota of doubt that CSK and SRH de­served to be in the qual­i­fier, as both the pop­u­lar teams surged ahead with ar­ray of vic­to­ries in the ini­tial round, as well as in the sec­ond stage. Apart from them, KKR, KXIP, Ra­jasthan Roy­als and, Mum­bai In­di­ans rose to the oc­ca­sion. The per­for­mances of Royal Chal­lengers, Ban­ga­lore and DDD left much to be de­sired, al­though they tried their level best to make up in the penul­ti­mate round.

Dis­ap­point­ment

The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons MI dis­ap­pointed the cricket lovers with their shoddy dis­play in the first round, even though they tried to catch up with other teams in the sec­ond round. KXIP has to be blamed for miss­ing a gold op­por­tu­nity to reach the qual­i­fier, as the team led by its new cap­tain, Ravichan­dran Ash­win, de­spite play­ing well in the first seven matches by reach­ing on top of other teams in points-ta­ble, failed

to ac­cel­er­ate the pro­ceed­ings with string of losses in the sec­ond round.

KKR has to be squarely blamed for not surg­ing ahead, af­ter beat­ing RR led by Ajinkya Ra­hane in the sec­ond qual­i­fier of the tour­na­ment. The team, rep­re­sent­ing Kolkata, had squan­dered the golden op­por­tu­nity to beat SRH and book a spot in the fi­nal, af­ter the team led by Di­nesh Karthik, poised for a onesided fin­ish when it reached 93 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first ten-over. Like­wise, the KXIP caved in meekly, af­ter the Pun­jab team was well set to beat Mum­bai In­di­ans in the sec­ond round.

The for­tune fluc­tu­ated for other teams, too. For in­stance, Ra­jasthan Roy­als was an un­lucky loser on a few oc­ca­sions. Sim­i­larly, the in­con­sis­tent bat­ting and bowl­ing let down the Royal Chal­lengers, Ban­ga­lore, led by Vi­rat Kohli, who is also the cap­tain of the In­dian team. The team Delhi Dare Devils, led by Shreyas Iyer, was found want­ing in the field­ing depart­ment, even though they had the former Aus­tralian cap­tain Ricky Ponting, known for his abil­ity to field like a pan­ther in his hey days, as their men­tor and field­ing coach.

A few fran­chises re­pented for field­ing some play­ers, who were not even worth half the amount. For in­stance, if RR heav­ily re­lied on Ben Stokes, whom they pur­chased for 14.5 crore, the fran­chisee had to cut a sorry fig­ure, as the all-rounder from Eng­land was all at sea, as far as his bat­ting dis­play was con­cerned. Stokes had more or less re­mained as a pas­sen­ger in the team through­out the tour­na­ment. Had an­other player and wicket keeper from

Eng­land, But­ler, not been around with his scin­til­lat­ing form, RR would not have qual­i­fied for the last four stages.

Spe­cial case

Like­wise, MI felt that the Caribbean player Kieran Pol­lard had dis­ap­pointed the con­nois­seurs of the game, with his in­sipid per­for­mance. Sim­i­larly, if KXIP had the mor­ti­fi­ca­tion of find­ing their one-time re­li­able bats­man, Yu­vraj Singh, not set­ting the cricket grounds ablaze with his trade-mark bound­aries and vol­ley of sixes, the fran­chisee’s Aussie re­cruit, An­drew Tye, for Rs 12.5 crore, had more than com­pen­sated it with his mind-bog­gling York­ers and ex­press de­liv­er­ies.

The RCB had to rely on Kohli and the re­cently re­tired South African player D’Vil­liers for cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on the tour­na­ment. The cham­pi­ons CSK dis­played that it owes its vic­tory more to the team spirit than of any in­di­vid­ual dis­play, even though Am­bati Rayadu, who scored max­i­mum runs in the tour­na­ment and the Aussie opener Shane Wat­son emerged with fly­ing colours at a con­sis­tent rate.

The moot point, how­ever, is, will the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of IPL erode the charm and ap­peal for test cricket? Some an­a­lysts and ad­min­is­tra­tors of the game opine that that One Day In­ter­na­tion­als and Twenty-20 event can­not mar the at­trac­tion to­wards test matches, al­though some of them are of the opin­ion that it can be re­duced to four play­ing days, in­stead of five at present.

A few old-timers and cricket en­thu­si­asts, used to watch­ing test matches for five days, and if the sit­u­a­tion war­ranted, for six days in the yes­ter­year, with a rest day in-be­tween, are anx­ious that the finer-points and nu­ances of test cricket should not be missed af­ter the ad­vent of so many one­day games. Im­por­tantly, the im­por­tance of do­mes­tic tour­na­ments like Ranji Tro­phy, Duleep Tro­phy and Deod­har Tro­phy should not pale into in­signif­i­cance in the anx­i­ety to build up tour­na­ments like Tamil Nadu Premier League, they rea­soned.

A few fran­chises re­pented for field­ing some play­ers, who were not even worth half the amount. For in­stance, if RR heav­ily re­lied on Ben Stokes, whom they pur­chased for 14.5 crore, the fran­chisee had to cut a sorry fig­ure, as the all-rounder from Eng­land was all at sea, as far as his bat­ting dis­play was con­cerned.

Charges against crick­eters Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth and An­keet Cha­van were dropped by the Pa­tiala House Court, New Delhi.

IPL be­tween Chen­nai and Hy­der­abad sets a new bench­mark with 8.26 mil­lion view­ers log­ging onto Hot­star.

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