Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cricket at a cost?

-By Swetha Amit

The IPL bidding saga took the breath of millions away by its billions.

Auctions that were usually associated with material things once sadly have been extended up to what is considered more than just a sport for many. Throwing and making money seems to be the motto as the franchisees gleam with every bid of their ‘precious’ players being bought over along with national loyalties. It certainly raises pertinent questions about the ‘premium’ or pride for respective countries.

The sportive essence is being replaced and regarded as a mere property for monetary gains under the pretext of social responsibility. After watching the unicolored team jubilant after a stupendous victory; a multicolored or rather ‘money’ colored group is what will be displayed. The national fervor and flavor is bound to be missed to a large extent much to the dismay of true lovers of this game. Cutting across the unilateral stance and shuffling them in different directions seems like a card game being played. Dispersing them in a cluster sampling mode; is cricket going the football way?

While it may indicate a lump sum amount for many players, the undue pressure to match the exuberant cash flow will indeed soar along with expectations of their owners. It will tend to rob the young and budding players out of their time to focus on their international games and careers. Even before they are nurtured fully to develop and evolve as matured players, such commercialization will end up defocusing and will dissuade them from the true spirit and passion for the sport. Lack of motivation unfortunately will kill their growth potential in its early stage before it blooms into a blossoming talent in making their fans and country shine with pride.

The trend of choosing club over country will spread like wild fire as the players may choose to skip international tournament at a much higher opportunity cost literally. Shifting their entire focus towards these leagues will result in the gradual decline in the excitement with regard to international tours. The power of the cricket boards may come down as franchisees will slowly exhibit their new found authoritative stance by controlling every move of these players, both on and off field. The once upon a time mighty batsmen and bowlers dancing to the tunes of their new control boards will eventually end up being like a puppet show.

Rather than generating such huge amounts into glamour and glitz, it would have been useful to utilize the same for the development of domestic cricket instead. The undue pressures of International cricket have made the seniors prone to injuries. Hence it is important to have a pipeline of players exposed to the pressures of the same and ready to assume the mantle for their country. Proper infrastructure facilities and opportunities could have been provided in the recruitment and training of potential young blood.

There are zillions who aren’t too happy with these takes which has exhibited a large stake in the rich man's world for expected soaring profits. While the saying goes that “everything comes at a cost” ,it is indeed a sign of despair to see cricket too coming at a cost-at a very mediocre one too considering the price it has to pay for its earlier status of a noble ‘gentleman’s game’.
Written for

Appeared as Editors' choice and story of the day

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Blogger KParthasarathi said...

As usual a wonderful piece from you justifying the editior's choice and the innumerable clicks.

I am inclined to agree with you that this crass commercialisation is not good for the game.When money enters,quality makes a silent departure unlike in Tennis where you have to win several competitive rounds to earn the phenomenal money.Money in tennis against performance exhibited in the championship.In cricket it is hiring fee.

The bidding and the compensation have no rationale in the absence of parameters.Is it the brand appeal,the looks or the skill which decides the amount?What if the players fail miserably?It doesn't appear performance related.

What bothers me is ICL would not be far behind if they are to remain in the scene.Rival teams with matching pay outs will be formed to take the gloss out of IPL.There would be another half a dozen teams playing the same variety.Will the surfiet of the dish kill the appetite for it?

Can there not be TDS at source as this kind of professional money earned cannot be called for development of sports and treated with kid gloves by revenue department.PC should take a view on it before it becomes a joke.

Any views?

1:17 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Completely agree with your point on the rationale for money offered. There is no doubt in my mind that it needs to be performance led and I guess as IPL goes through its second year, we will see more of that.

I am also pretty sure that the taxman will get to the skin of these astronomical sums.

However, my main concern is really towards the upcoming cricketers or future players. For the lure of money will they start modifying their game to suit the IPL needs? Is the era of classy and graceful stroke makers gone, will the traditional swing bowler not make the cut because of this league?

7:18 AM  
Blogger Mukundh said...

It's nice to see that our opinions concur. I too am not in favour of pampering our upcoming cricketers with money. They'll never feel the need to improve their game. How many such cases have we seen in the past where people promise for a short while and lose their place as they start chasing money.

I appreciate your thought provoking entries more than your reviews. Keep writing.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks Mukundh.Will definitely keep 'em coming.:-)

9:58 PM  

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