Friday, February 22, 2008

The Great Indian Premier League

Anu g has been watching the IPL drama closely.

This Great Indian Cattle Auction has all the ingredients of a masala movie.

Original Script
First conceived by the Zee television honcho Subhash Goel who felt that cricket-crazy India could earn the big bucks via a Twenty20 cricket league.

Indian Premier League AuctionPlagiarized Script
BCCI (Board of Cricket Control of India) - with so much rupya-clout that it actually controls cricket worldwide - was outraged. So its media-savvy head Lalit Modi fast-tracked a plagiarized script and the Indian Premier League was born.

Poor Kapil Dev and his Indian Cricket League personnel were left by the way side and declared bhulla-bura, and so were all the cricketers who dared to join the ICL.

Then began an auction for teams. This was where stars made their grand entry. 8 teams were announced. BCCI sat back and watched people fight over teams: Sharukh Khan bagged Team Kolkata, Preity Zinta went home with Mohali. The BCCI banked cool tons of cash for just being dalals.

Star Cast
The tamasha began on 20 February when the players put out for auction. This reminded me of one big cattle bazaar. About 80 players, who had signed up for the IPL, were auctioned. It was amusing to read the news ‘Shahrukh Khan has bought Shoaib Akhtar, ‘Hyderabad ne Andrew Symonds ko khareeda hai’. Preity Zinta was so thrilled that she screamed in joy when she landed Sreesanth!

Indian Premier League AuctionBehind the Scenes
The whole process was supposed to be kept secret, but with the media in full attendance, there were press conferences announcing the results after every round. A beaming Lalit Modi lost count of the money he was collecting. The media celebrated the results on par with Parliamentary elections.

Dhoni earned the biggest bucks - Rs. 6 crores for one season, while some poor cricketers like Glenn McGrath initially had no takers, and had to be kept in the reserve pool. The Pathan brothers ended up as the richest family.

Many teams goofed up on their planning and lost out on good bids. Despite there being ten wicketkeeper-batsmen in the pool, Mumbai returned without one, while Chennai bagged Dhoni and Parthiv Patel.

Then there was this curious element of ‘icon’ players who have to play for their home-state, and would earn 15% more than the highest bid of their team. So Sachin, Saurav, Dravid , Yuvraj and Sehwag were least worried about losing face because they were going to earn the maximum money in their team.

Indian Premier League Auction Shahrukh Preity NessThe figures sound crazy. While Robin Uthappa was sold for Rs. 3.2 crores, Mathew Hayden went for just Rs. 1.5 crores. Assuming Ishant Sharma plays 4 overs each in all the possible 16 matches, he will earn almost Rs. 1 lakh per delivery! Dhoni will earn almost 38 lakhs for every match he plays. Thats real big money! All this for just 44 days in which if your team loses, you still make your money!

The Real Hero
But the real hero turned out to be our very stylish Hyderabadi batsman VVS Laxman. He declined the icon status in the team’s interest so that the funds earmarked for him could instead be utilized for buying many good players. What a sacrifice! He has made us Hyderabadis proud!

Hit Ya Flop?
So will this tournament be a hit or flop?

The Pluses
  1. We may get to see a lot of fun-action on the field with the stars and celebrities now being part of the show. SRK who has invested heavily is sure to come up with some gimmicks.

  2. Its cheap, good time-pass for people who don’t want to waste money traveling to games.

  3. Mmmm...I can't think of anything else...the cricketers earn tons of money, but then as Kareena Kapoor says in Jab We Met ‘Isse Mujhe kya painda’?

The Minuses
  1. The aam junta of India (and I am one of them) is very patriotic and loves watching India play (and win). I wear my heart on my sleeve, and root for India. I have great pleasure in watching Andrew Symonds get out, now how can I suddenly think of him as a Hyderabadi , and then think of him as an Aussie again when he returns to play test matches/ODIs for his country.

  2. There are of course exceptions like the men in my family, my dad and my husband who ask me to cool it (as I go grumble,grumble when India is losing) and enjoy the game of cricket. Enjoy the game when India is losing? No way!!

  3. The tournament is in peak-summer. Will the crowd like to sit at the stadium and sweat it out with the players?

  4. Aspiring players might be so taken up by this format (and cash) now that it that can take a toll on India’s performance in ODIs and Tests.

  5. Being such a fast game, we might see a broken haddi or pulled maas-peshiya soon.

So I guess we just have to wait and watch. I am sure the initial matches will be a great hit , as is anything which is novel. It is only later that we will find out whether this big-budget tamasha was worth it all. And whether Shah Rukh and Preity turn out to be as successful in business as they have been in acting!



Unknown said...

anu g, thanks for the brilliant round up. Now, let the games begin!

Hopefully you'll be able to give us choice updates on all the juicy happenings. And yes, occasionally about the cricket too.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, thanks so much for posting it. U have managed to capture the whole essence of the post in the pictures and captions.They r so funny.

Saritha said...

Mind blowing,Fantastic,Superb,Excellent,anu. If I could I would buy this post for $2000....wait,that's not even a lakh in Indian Rupees.Sorry,boss!Hum Umereka wale aise eech poor hai,can't compare to what's happening in India,now.

Jet Airways has one of the finest First class seats currently in the biz,rounding up at $10,000 and even more.My friend spent the same amt of money+plus loan to buy a brand new compact size car today.He'll spend next few mths clearing that debt.....I wish someone could gift me that ticket to India.:D

anu,that's an excellent post and thanks for all the bits and as usual Aspi's caps are hilarious.
New item,sale,clearance....ha ha

I don't follow cricket,and I was just asking BH why is the whole nation crazy abt Cricket,then again,someone once asked me 'how could you remember so many things abt movies?It's such a waste of time to sit and watch fiction for 3 hrs and then talk abt it".ahem,may be there's something abt Cricket and movies.U'll just crazy abt them.

But I was very proud of VVS when I heard that.Nawabi ishtyle ,after all.Very Very Special Laxman!

Saritha said...

btw,with all the stars associated with the game now,can we expect cheerleading or they'll simply play the popular item songs during break?

Anonymous said...

Excellent job anu g. Cattle auction indeed! Jaipur team was fined for not spending enough money...the penalty was they had to pay BCCI the balance. Heh. And Jaipur team's defense was that they didn't understand the rules correctly. Double Heh.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Aspi, Saritha and Ritha. I am glad someone read it!I had decided that if there werent any comments at all, I would come in as an anon and type in a few of my own:).I am glad I didnt have to cheat.
Saritha, you r inspiring me to write another post on crazy cricket. I never watched cricket before i got married.Once I got married to a cricket-buff, I realised that if u cant beat them, join them!Now I a bigger fan than he is.
Also,I am sure theres going to be a lot of filmi action off the field.If I remember right , during the ICL tournament, Kareena Kapoor and some others danced live. Since ICL has been banned, there was very poor press coverage of the event.Lots is going to happen here I am sure.
Ritha,on the other hand, the other teams which have icons r now cribbing saying that it was unfair for them to be saddled with icons cos their budget got constrained:).BCCI said the rules were known earlier.
And Ricky ponting is sulking saying he thinks he is worth much more:).

Anonymous said...

Haha, suchh a tamasha! And ironically- after all the brouhaha during the racism episode in australia...symonds is the highest paid firang!
Really waiting to see the bolly mix during the match breaks etc.
Did anyone see the pics of SRK,Priety & co. during the bidding? Is it just me or does anyone else also think that Priety is finally looking normal now. She is back to looking the cute, pretty lass that she was before DCH and much much before KANK.

Anonymous said...

LOL!!!!Cattle auction's decent mannn...sounds more like some 'syayamvar' or slave market!

Unknown said...

I think the biggest thing happening here is the conditioning of the fact that any cricketer today is only worth what his price is in India.

Its making the non-Indians, especially those outside the subcontinent, pissed and nervous. And its making the Indians arrogant and unbearable. But hey, since when did pots of money lay claim to self-improvement?

Anonymous said...

anu g, you've captured the spirit of slave auction! cricket is a religion for the BH, so i've been hearing plenty on the crazed and senseless bidding! with the insane amounts of money being spent, it'll be interesting to see how this experiment works in terms of economic returns.

anu g, hope we see much more fm u in the form of full fledged posts. i don't think u shd restrict yr considerable talent to merely ferreting out interesting news --- though thats always welcome too!

aspi, so true - the might of filthy lucre flashes. i've got to admit i rather like the shoe being on the other foot even at the cost of india looking like an arrogant, insufferable bully. we've been on the receiving end for so long that it is nice to be able to dish out the dirt! oops! my ugly megalomaniac streak is surfacing :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Sidekick.Nice to see u back. Frankly its so much easier to just dish out comments cos I dont have to worry about the grammar and spellings,the ps and qs.I appreciate the support from u, Saritha and Aspi.
I agree with u.Its good to be on the other side of the fence for a change. No wonder the aussies r cheesed off and saying bcci is trying to rule the world.
Another worry though is that once people make their quick bucks in this tournament, they will be less-inspired to play for their country. Andrew Symonds has already said he will not be going for the Paki tour which is just before the IPL tourney.
Cricket is certainly going in for a major samudra manthan, whether we come up with vish or amrut is yet to be seen.In the meanwhile, we have fun watching the show, the cricketers make loads of money, the team-owners go biting their teeth worrying how they r going to recover their costs, and BCCI goes laughing all the way to the Swiss Bank?

Unknown said...

Hey hey Sidekick, good to have you back. Hope you had a good trip wherever you went last week.

Actually I have a cricket crazy friend who feels the same way as you. In fact, he takes great pleasure whenever BCCI throws its weight around - kind of like during the bhajji-monkey episode.

I think in the hands of the right person, we can assert ourselves without the negative publicity that it brings. Otherwise we are in for an Amrika-sized backlash.

Anonymous said...

Anu g, brilliant! Kya write up hai! mazaa aa gaya.
Aspi, kya illustrations hai!
BTW, the cow's "Moo" should be a a cry for "Moo-laah!"

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mindrush.Lol about the Moo-lah.That was so apt.

Anonymous said...

Nice logos Aspi. Though I wish the Love chakker logo would not be the first (no offence to u Mindrush) cos it gives a very different opinion of what the drift is all about.I opened the site, and my kids who were around rushed down to ask me which site this was...I think they saw the red heart and thought I was logging onto some shady site.Only when they were reassured that it was the drift did they move away:).I am quite enjoying my moral police brigade:)!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aspi.
Btw, the IPL requires about 4 under-19 players per team. They r supposed to be busy abroad playing the Junior World Cup, but have got so distracted and are busy bargaining with the smaller dalals for their pound of flesh.Its a pity that such young kids are getting misled by the lure of money.Seems like BCCI has created its own frankestein.

Anonymous said...

IPL has taken commercial valuation of the game to another level...The numbers are mind-boggling.

If one gets 37.5 Lakhs for 3 odd hours on the field (MS Dhoni)in IPL, the outlook towards one days (leave alone 5 DAY tests) is going to subdue.

And most probably, this is going to grow more as business barons and Bollywood stars see this as a great marketing tool in India.

@Anu : I think BCCI has banned under-19 players from signing an IPL contract.

Anonymous said...

Indian Premier League is very hot issue these days. Many big industrials, celebrities and other companies are involving in biding of players. Very Famous and Favorite star of the new generation is also becoming the part of this. IPL will make player ready for their international performance. Indian Premier League will play 20-20 matches which are more interesting then 50 over matches. Here is a new platform for meeting people who are fan of cricket and you can discuss your point about the players and team. You can get updates about IPL, make your own blogs and share your ideas with other fans. Join this platform totally free IPL cricket.

Anonymous said...

anu g,
thanks for the excellent roundup. Not being a cricket fan I have been taking in this info in bits and pieces in the press and never pieced it all together.
Now it all makes sense!

LOL what you said about the Love chakker logo.
I once caught myself looking around at work to make sure nobody misunderstood when I was on the drift!
But Aspi dont change that logo. It is so cheesy and appropriate I love it!

Anonymous said...

Meena,I am glad the post made sense.In fact my writing in the past few years has been so limited to helping out my kids with their projects, that when i wrote this, i realised that it had come out just like a project report...Intro, Subject-matter, Advantages,Disadvantages,Conclusion:).I had to restrain myself from adding a bibliography column to end the report:).
I had a greatlaugh at ur description of ur browsing at work..If I remember right, this red heart has been dangling there since a few days, even before the other posts got their flowery font and logos.

Unknown said...

Arre, I am working on changing the logos just a little. Just was experimenting with some look. But I think we'll do sober again - as long as its not boring.

We'll keep the burning Love Chakker heart - but I'll have to figure some good way of hiding it. Maybe stick it on the right so people can cut it out with the browser's right edge.

Anonymous said...

Heres the humorous Cyrus Broacha with his take on the IPL.

Anonymous said...

Meena, have u noticed the 'dil ha chota sa':).

Anonymous said...

Hey! Did u change the settings Aspi? When i wanted to post a comment, it went straight to and i was able to post my comment. Thanks so much Aspi. Its such a relief not having to go thru a long process to post a comment.

Anonymous said...

After all the controversies in the Indo-Aus cricket series, I am thrilled that india has won the CB Series. The Aussies had become very arrogant and kept abusing the Indians. Harbhajan was called an obnoxious little weed by Hayden, and some other things by Symonds. And in reply he got them both out in both the finals. The crowd behaved abominably with Bhajji. It seems a special camera had been set up to follow his movements in the whole match. Poor guy, felt itchy and was accused of imitating a monkey. He spat on the ground(all these guys do it) and was accused of insulting the crowd(who was booing him).
Ricky Ponting said the third final (of the best of three) wouldnt be needed, and how true he was. India won the series in two matches.
Talk about divine justice! I may crib about the cricketers being given too much importance and money, but this time as an Indian, I am elated that the Indians have put the Aussies in their place, not by abusing them, but simply by their performance on the field.Chak de India!

Unknown said...

I'm glad this worked out for you anu g. Actually I was trying some Feed Flare programming and had to remove the comments popup to make things work.

But this is a nice side effect.

Beating the Aussies in an ODI tri-series in Australia is a rare event. So this is great. But I wish someone other than Tendulkar had come to the party with the bat. Its scary what it will be like without him.

Anonymous said...

anu g, I did notice that the dil went chota.

Aspi, i liked the previous dil better. Taking 'go green' to heart?. However, I missed your awesome pics with captions in the last couple of posts. There were Gauri and Vidya's pics just begging to be captioned!

Unknown said...

Meena, I know, I need to get back to captioning some more. Where's Himesh when you need some inspiration?

Anonymous said...

Aspi,I agree, and I shudder to think how performances r going to get only worse once the kids get used to t20 cricket.While people complain when the oldies say that test cricket is real cricket, its true that its only test cricket which improves proper batting technique.Well, atleast people will now appreciate the value of age and experience(I will not rub it in and mention the age-factor of the drifters:)).

Anonymous said...

I think i stand corrected on the 'patriotism' factor in the t20 contests. We just went to watch an ICL 20-20 cricket match.We were all cheering and supporting the Hyderabad men in green.It didnt matter that there were non-Indian players like Chris Harris, Justine kemp, Abdul Razzak and Nickie Boje. We got to see many other cricketers too. So I think once they descend on the ground in the team's colours,they no longer seem to be outsiders. Of course whether I can accept Symonds as one of us in the IPL, is still to be seen:).
I feel really bad for the ICL cos they r struggling to survive. They did nothing wrong after all. Many promising Hyderabadi players got into the ICL becos they were doled out very unfair treatment by a local selector who wanted his son and his cronies to prosper. So a big chunk of the Hyderabad team enrolled with the ICL. Many Paki cricketers r also in the ICL, the money was a big attraction. They never knew that BCCI would cry foul. Its a pity that we will not see so many good cricketers in international cricket.

Unknown said...

A lot of the ICL players are making cash they wouldn't have otherwise made. So they are better off for participating. But there are others (like say Shane Bond) who really shouldn't be given a raw deal by the BCCI.

Its been amazing to watch BCCI in action though. Boy, they really are an 800 pound gorilla.

KnowYourProfit said...
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