Millennium Post

IPL is getting bigger by the day

The ongoing suspense on the fate of the beleaguered Indian Premier League [IPL] franchise Deccan Chargers is now over with Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] terminating its contract following an emergency IPL governing council meeting in Chennai.

BCCI has now decided to add one new IPL franchise in the coming IPL besides leaving it to Mumbai High Court to take the final call on Charger’s participation as the 10th team. The new team will be based out of any of the following cities: Ahmedabad, Visakhapatnam, Dharamsala, Indore, Jamshedpur, Nagpur, Cuttack, Kanpur [Greater Noida], Rajkot and Ranchi.

The rapid disposal of Chargers has been widely blamed on economic pressure affecting its current owners, but it also reflects the stormy history of IPL. BCCI threw Kochi Tuskers out of IPL in 2011 following their failure to meet financial requirements. A separate attempt was made in 2010 to eject Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab over murky ownership disputes, but the move was blocked after a court battle.

IPL has become a major event in international cricket calendar, attracting world’s most exciting players like Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle, among others. However, unlike the conventional method of managing the game with cricket-centric ideas and policies, the game has suddenly become very big since the inception of the cash rich league of which everyone wants a share or two.

More than cricketing skills or experiences, it’s the big business houses dealing in crores which now call the shots. And the amount involved in building and running a franchise successfully is too big for the common fans to comprehend. Whether this trend is beneficial for the overall development of the game is a different debate but from a cricketers’ point of view, IPL is surely the biggest event they can aspire to play for. No longer does one need to don the national jersey in order to make a decent living from playing the game. Now, the players can earn much more just by bagging an IPL contract.

However, this Indian cricket jamboree has also been badly hit by never-ending financial scandals with Lalit Modi, sacked in 2010 for corruption and money-laundering, being the biggest casualty so far. But despite the founder losing the plot, the league has only grown in stature in the past few years.
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