Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Here’s the latest from the IPL:

Even before it could set about building a team, the franchisee ran into trouble with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which returned the agreement papers.

IPL sources claimed the Kochi franchisee reportedly gave 25% of its shareholding for life to some unknown entities, free of cost when it has itself bid almost Rs 1,500 crore to obtain the franchise. The sources told TOI the consortium has been asked to present its case and sign the agreement, mentioning all its partners, in Mumbai by Monday.

However, sources in the Kochi camp denied that any such transfer of stake had taken place. They also insisted that they would submit the agreement papers to BCCI on Friday itself.

Does any of this, or all of it, remind you of the Internet, in those glorious bubble years?

Anyway. This is, as politicians and journalists both like to say, a “developing situation”, and we are “keenly monitoring the developments”. Stay tuned.

Related, here’s Samanth Subramaniam on the IPL — in, of all places, Huffington Post:

So why, when I watch the tournament now, do I watch it with equal measures of fascination and repugnance? Not because the IPL is a symbol of capitalism – far be it for me, a willing beneficiary of India’s adventures in money-making, to complain about that – but because it’s a symbol of capitalism gone horrifically wrong. The IPL purports to be a free market but is in fact controlled by one man: Lalit Modi, whose power and stature have grown so Rabelaisian in merely three years that Bollywood has already asked to mine his life for subject material. (One player, Ravindra Jadeja, dared to try negotiating a new contract for himself this year. He was promptly banned for the remainder of the season.) The IPL pursues revenues at the expense of other valuable resources: Test cricket, but also domestic cricket, the inevitable breeding grounds for young talent. In its grubbing for money, in fact, the IPL is dismissive of anything old-fashioned, anything aesthetic; even the four seconds between one ball and the next, held sacrosanct through more than a century of cricket, have been sold for inconsequential advertisements. Meanwhile, owners buy teams for staggering quantities of money and with the fuzziest possibilities of recovering their investment; they desire only to dice up the risk and sell it in parts to sponsors and other companies, a practice that should surely sound familiar to us today.

Link courtesy Cricinfo’s Surfer.

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3 thoughts on “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

  1. Also as Rahul Mehra pointed out, IPL franchises also provide a fantastic way to turning black money to white.

  2. Actually, this reminds of the sub-prime crisis & the Godfather more than the dotcom bubble.

    If Kochi parcels out the risky investment as derivative instruments to millions of idiots at a lakh each, they could still be laughing to the bank along with IPL. Who cares about the greedy sucker who bought the instrument anyways?

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