Archive for October 20, 2009

Champions’ league “Blue”

Two entertainment products found a similarity amongst themselves last weekend; one in the field of cricket and another in form of a Bollywood flick. The similarity starts in the way both products announced their “sales pitch”. The product never said anything about the script/teams or the actors/players proficiency. According to  the promoters of both, their USP was the mullah spent in creating the product. Money took precedence over everything else. The product was almost in your face saying” its god damn expensive, so you better indulge in it”.

 

Alas both products did not realize that consumers don’t take to a product just because it is expensive. The operative word for success is “value for money” and that is where both products fail. The metaphor of the failure in both products was two towering figures; unfortunately standing in the dusk of their careers; Sanjay Dutt & Glen McGrath. Unfortunately for them the promoters tried to milk their humongous brand equity without reading their present status. Both are in professions where fitness and form is of paramount importance; their expanding bellies puffed up cheeks read a completely different picture. Another towering figure that did a great damage for himself who coincidently played his part in both products was the Mozart of Madras- A.R. Rehman. What on earth was the brief given to the maestro by the promoters of both products- god alone knows! But both the Airtel Champions League Anthem and Chigi Wigi did not work with the audiences. Somehow it was just not something expected from a genius of the caliber of Mr. Rehman. I would however rest the case in favor of the Music maestro by saying that the main culprit was somewhere in the promoters brief to him, for  both products

 

As Bollywood is not my cup of tea let me just concentrate on the Champions League. There are a few fundamental errors in the league and unless they solve these; they can never reach the status of the UEFA; they want to emulate. T20 cricket today has a few fundamental errors. A T20 format player is caught between loyalties to club or country. This is something Soccer players never face. It is high time players choose the format they want to represent. The way forward is to have a separate T20, One Day and Test side across all major cricket nations’ right from the grassroots level. This is aka Rugby structure of the world. IF you play Rugby league you stick to it and don’t switch to Rugby union. However if a T20 player can represent his country in a test format he would need to give up his T20 code to take on test cricket. This is something Rugby league players do as the world cup of Rugby is played in the Rugby Union format.  This will take away all discrepancies and statements like “T20 is like dessert”. Every format needs to be respected equally. This would also take away the hypocrisy practiced by many players and cricket experts who enjoy the financial benefits of T20 format while praising test cricket. I would seriously like to see how many players would take up Test cricket and forgo T20 league cricket. I am sure after a certain age it is best to not indulge in too much of desserts!

 

Most importantly what the bifurcation of players into three different codes –aka rugby; will create a   proper window for t20 cricket. The present format of the IPL – One month 60 odd matches is too much burden on the players and fans consuming the game as a sport product. It makes the IPL more of an event rather than a league. A league should ideally be played over 3-4 months with no more than 4 days/week itinerary, very much like the English Premier league.

I am sure most of you would see this as a deathblow for test cricket- but let us bestow some trust on the spectators and beauty of test cricket. I am sure it can survive on its own without any protectionism and embargos on other formats of cricket

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