Posts Tagged sharne warne

Obituary of National Icons! Will Shashank Manohar Save National Cricket

Change is the order for any sporting discipline in the competitive dynamic world of modern sports and one sport which is seeing dramatic changes is cricket. When league cricket was pioneered by ICL; they had a blessing in disguise in the fact that they could not touch national players. The ICL therefore cleverly tried a combination of international Icons in the dawn of their career with domestic Indian talents and produced competitive teams which took to T20 cricket like fish to water. This clearly demarcated city league & international cricket and both could co exist.

The BCCI has countered the ICL move by upping the scale and encompassing national icons around the world in the IPL. The IPL has turned out to be a commercial success but it will leave two major side effects for especially India cricket:

1. National Icons replaced by city icons: who would have thought that a Rahul Dravid would be booed at wankade? A Shewag batting carnage at Hyderabad would be greeted by a hush silence.

I think we have seen the last of national Icons in Dravid, Ganguly & Sachin Tendulkar. The Future stars like Dhoni , Shewag , Yuvaraj & Rohit Sharma will be metamorphosed into regional icons ; as far as their commercial valuations do not take a beating the players will not complain ,but in the long vision I guess cricket will cease to be a national sport , it will remain a city based league sport on the lines of the north American sports leagues.

I am sure a majority would think that this write up has been under the influence of some intoxicants and that the game that evoked national passion like none other can never change. But the reality will soon strike and like everything else in life commercial considerations will overpower nostalgic emotions. The best metaphor for national cricket is single screen cinema hall which has given way to multiplexes. The multiplex of cricket is the IPL and all that will remain of white flannels & men in blue is nostalgic moments.

2. Death of Trans national rivalry: The ICC has never looked weaker, Pakistan cricket is in trouble, so is the Sri Lankan set up. The only countries which have a foundation are Cricket Australia & England if another league cricket tycoon, Stanford bails them out. It is only a matter of time before you identify a Shoaib Akhtar is known as a Kolkata knightrider or a Murlidharan as a Chennai boy. Bret lee will be known as the blonde assassin in Zinta’s basket & Warne will be in the news for stalking a Rajput princess with his SMS’s. Again this fact may be hard to fathom for all the cricket fans who have grown up on international rivalries, but mark my words Yr 2008 will be the last resistance to city/franchisee based cricket taking over all other forms of the game.

So is there a solution to save cricket from this onslaught. Personally the dominance & monopoly of the IPL has to be countered. The only way of doing it is by brining it at par with the ICL & Stanford’s league. Somehow players should be allowed to play in al the three leagues maybe Stanford or ICL should buy out the underpaid Aussies at the IPL similarly the IPL & Stanford could buy out some promising domestic talents from the ICL , what this would do is break the monopoly and commercial loyalty amongst the players with the IPL. I guess The IPL should be relegated as a mere subsidiary of the BCCI and IPL authorities should not allowed to be a part of the BCCI decision making committee. It would be interesting to see when Shashank Manohar ( president elect of the BCCI ) takes over at the helm of affairs of the BCCI. Manohar has spared himself from the IPL hoopla and a lot would depend upon him to cut down the IPL to the size it rightly deserves, so that the true flavor of cricket survives.

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