• To say the IPL was a success is to gild the lily. All the indices said so — a television audience well in excess of 100 million over 44 days, four million spectators at the grounds, TV viewership ratings in excess of 8 TRPs and record rates for 10-second spots at the final to rival US networks at primetime.

    Where the IPL goes from here is what will define world cricket. Will the ICC wake up to the reality of a player-centric popular tournament and create a window so that all, including the English players, can get into the IPL and enjoy the competition and the monetary benefit?

    If they choose to block it, it is the member countries of the ICC who will be left facing a rebellion. To stifle market forces would be to invite consequences the administration is not qualified to handle as we saw in the Packer case 30 years ago when Justice Slade came down on ICC like a ton of bricks.

     

    Can there ever be two IPLs in one season? That is too fanciful, perhaps a typical instance of chasing

    Read More »from IPL honchos get most things right
  • By all accounts that one has heard emanating from Australia and more recently from V.V.S. Laxman, Anil Kumble has qualified to be India's first statesman captain. It has been someone that Indian cricket has been looking for more than seven decades and when he does eventually arrive, he is 37 years old and almost ready to be put to grass in a manner of speaking.

     

    For long, Kumble was intrigued that he was never a candidate of the powers that be as captain, though every other aspect of his CV is probably better than his so-called rivals. Maybe, he was taught very early that they also serve who stand and wait!

     

    The statesman captain in the game has always been rare. As far as Indians are concerned, historically the two who come to mind at once are C.K. Nayudu and his protege, Lala Amarnath. Both were larger-than-life personalities and wielded tremendous influence on the players they led, with the odd exception. But, they captained in difficult times - with India in the throes of its

    Read More »from Kumble is India’s first statesman captain
  • The country’s richest man combined with the world’s richest cricketer to form a cricket team. Even so, the Mumbai Indians do not find themselves in the IPL semi-finals. This just goes to show that there are some things like winning cricket teams that money can’t buy.

     

    There were cheerleader groups from all over the world of sport, including the high profile group of girls from Washington Redskins of NFL fame. The girls from Down Under that Deccan Chargers put together were consistently the best — full of good cheer and high energy right through the league. Again, the most expensive or expansive did not mean the best.

     

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the most expensive buy at the player auction. He has delivered the minimum performance in terms of leading his Chennai Super Kings into the long IPL weekend of semis and final even if he was not the best performing batsman of the league. At under half a million dollars, Shane Warne the player was a bargain but to buy his brain they had to double

    Read More »from Long weekend for couch potatoes

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