Posts Tagged kolkata knightriders

Dubya or Moses the ball is in Lalit Modi’s court

The present stance of the BCCI strongman Lalit Modi is reminiscent of The American President’s stance on war on terror “if you are with us you are the good guys if not then you are the bad boys “. Similarly the BCCI’s stance on the ICL & its professional players lacks objectivity.

Modi is again in the hot seat as he heads the committee that is going to decide the future of the ICL players and he has the opportunity to either live up to his rechristened ( Rechristned by the cricket Pundit Ravi Shashtri) name of Moses Modi ( for his revolutionary IPL) or to continue his draconian Dubya stance.

I think as an important member of the Indian cricket fraternity the task with Modi & importantly BCCI president elect Shashank Manohar is to act in benefit of the domestic cricketer.

The Indian player pool is too large to be encompassed by a single IPL, & therefore it makes logical sense to see the synergistic value of bringing the ICL & more importantly its impressive resources (player base, coaches & support staff) into the manifold.

After all it is ironical that somebody with the business acumen of Lalit Modi does not believe in free market economy for cricket rather than the existing restrictive & monopolistic stance of the BCCI against its own fraternity.

How would the BCCI benefit from this move?

  1. They would win back the support of over 80 first class cricketers who have aliened with the ICL.
  2. The ICL matches could help test a larger base of players in turn strengthening the Indian team’s bench strength.
  3. It can help a larger pool of players enjoy the social & economic benefits, T20 & league cricket has to offer.
  4. It could explore the possibility of player transfers between the two leagues which may help the fortune of some of its IPl teams. For Eg the Deccan Chargers could take an Ambatti Rayudu or Stuart Binny on loan from the ICL which may improve their chances in the next season. The Kolkata Knightriders could beef up their batting by picking up a Rohan Gavaskar , Deep Dasgupta or Abhishek Jhunjhunwala from the ICL.

In the final analysis it would be a magnanimous stance by the BCCI and help in its image amongst the general public.

The ball now is in Lalit Modi’s court whether he wants history to remember him as the Cricket’s powerful Dubya or Moses!!!!!!!!!

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Ranadeb Bose story proves Indian cricket needs more than one IPL

The IPL has had great success in commercial terms and we have to give it to the organizers that today city leagues have made cricket a viable career option. It is no more a Russian roulette for a young promising teenager to pursue the game as a career option. A player no longer needs to make it to the elite national team to make a living out of the sport and that is what is going to get more youngsters to pursue a career in the magnificent game of cricket.

Unfortunately with all the good achieved by IPL, it needs to introspect the negatives so that it can come out bigger, better and more beneficial for cricketers in the years to come. A lot has been written about the slapgate and franchisee-player rift and I guess with time it will get sorted out. My focus with this write up dwells on the fact ;if the IPL has been able to encompass the humongous talent pool possessed by India?  The fact that a promising player (Ranadeep Bose) who has been on the periphery of the national team has been left in the cold by his franchisee because of what can be termed as embarrassment of riches in terms of fast bowling talent in its possession. This makes a strong point that the present structure and size of the IPL cannot encompass the entire Indian pool of players.

The city based leagues was originally formulated to provide domestic talents the exposure of playing at the highest level as well as tapping the commercial viability of combining domestic talent with international players to produce some high octane cricket matches for the cricket crazy consumers of the sub continent.

It is therefore imperative for the authorities concerned to see to it that all the domestic players get to take part in the IPL. This may be more important than getting stars to take part in the IPL. After all the foremost objective of the IPL are not commercial gains but strengthening of Indian cricket.

It can be best summed up by what ace commentator Harsha Bhogle was quoted saying in a TV program “Indian cricket is a commercial success but not a cricketing success yet “.

Purists may question what good would T20 cricket do in the development process of a budding cricketer. I guess for every cricketer worth his salt Test cricket is the ultimate test. One can understand when players (both present & former) vouch for the greatness of test cricket, maybe even perennial fans like yours truly prefer the test format of the game but I Guess it is a bit of self indulgence from both players and perennial cricket fans like us to except the mass supporters (especially TV consumers) of the sport to follow test cricket. SO to draw a conclusion just of basis of the players perception can be suicidal in world of modern competitive & commercial sporting environment.

Another problem with test cricket is that it is more of an elitist format of the game which can only accommodate the cream of the talent pool in a country. However the players who play the game are rightly justified in formulating Test cricket being the real form of the game as it is the ultimate test of skills of a cricketer with the bat & ball however it is not the best format to catch the fancy of the consumer of the sport and this is where the glaring contrast lies in terms of perception of the sport from the point of view of a consumer vis a vis the players of the sport.

SO what doest T20 do for the average cricketer?

I guess it is the best format for a player to make the sport a viable career option; it is also the best format for him to get recognition from the consumer; & importantly the most viable platform to gain exposure of playing with the best in the business. These in my personal opinion is the importance of T20 cricket and the best way forward for unearthing new talent and explore new pastures for the game of cricket.

So the big question is can the IPL encompass the humongous talent pool in the country? The answer is no. it needs more than 8 teams and a 44 day calendar to do that.

So what is the solution? Either grows from a 44 day annual calendar to a 4 month calendar or a radical step to recognize other leagues like the ICL plying out of India.

The second option looks viable as it will not disrupt the international calendar at the same time encompass the entire humongous pool of players.

Which sane cricket body would not like to tap the resources of the ICL ; which possess coaches like Cullinan, Bevan, Rixon & Emburey; support staff of international quality of the likes of Jock Campbell & company. I think a ceremonial official approval of the ICL would help the BCCI tap on the resources created by the ICL as well probably pass on the commercial benefit of league cricket to one & all associated with domestic Indian cricket.

My personal perception of the IPL commissioner Lalit Modi (may be I am wrong) is that he is commercially driven in his objectives for Indian cricket. Nothing wrong with that , but in the larger picture of Indian cricket it will have to be Sharad Pawar who will have to show true leadership qualities and think out of the petty BCCI think-tank policies and focus on nurturing talent & betterment of the cricketers (both in terms of exposure & commercial gains).

Will Pawar exhibit his skills will be a wait and watch in the next few days.

After all as the head of the premier cricket body in the world it is his moral responsibility to see to it that a prodigal talent like a Rayudu, Nechim or Murtaza get full opportunity to excel in the field of cricket rather than being ostracized due to draconian restrictive & monopolistic policies and at the same time see to it that a Neeraj Patel (played only 2 IPL matches) & Ranadeep Bose (no opportunity at the IPL) get full exposure of the city based T20 format.

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