IPL clips

#1. GS Vivek and Debesh Bannerjee, in the Indian Express, on the after-match commitments of the players:

A top player speaks about the effect on their body clock. “We return to the hotel from the match around midnight and get ready for the party. Most of these parties go on till the wee hours. When the players get up around afternoon, it’s time to catch a flight to the next destination,” he says. “There are days when the game is over in three hours while the party goes on for six hours. Off-the-field fatigue is more than the tiredness on field.”

Regulars speak of exhausted players dozing off on couches — a Chennai Super Kings young spinner being the most recent example. Others of inebriated cricketers being helped to their rooms at dawn. Delhi Daredevils coach Greg Shipperd is among the few to express his reservations openly. “At times it is hard on players. It is up to the individuals and team management to ensure that they strike the right balance,” he says.

While IPL organisers refuse to comment on the issue, the official line of the franchise is that it is not mandatory for players to attend. Delhi Daredevils’ Chief Operating Officer Amit Mathur says the players aren’t forced to come for parties. “Anyways the parties are usually held at team hotels. Since most of the time, the day after the game we travel, the practice sessions are optional,” he says.

However, there hasn’t been a single party where players haven’t showed up. The unwritten rule is that top stars need to make an appearance. There have been cases when players have expressed wish to spend time in their rooms but have been prevailed upon by owners to drop in for a while.

#2. Apropos the above, Ramachandra Guha examines why Kochi and Pune got lucky at the auction for the two latest franchises:

This maldistribution of IPL franchises undermines its claim to be ‘Indian’, and is in defiance of sporting history and achievement as well. The truth is that citizenship and cricket have been comprehensively trumped by the claims of commerce. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar are three of the poorest states in the Union. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are among the most prosperous. Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are somewhere in the middle, but they have this further advantage — all have witnessed a spurt in industrial and urban development in recent years, and all have properly functioning international airports for the cricketers — or gladiators — to come and go from.

There are other advantages that Kochi and Pune have over Lucknow or Indore. Both towns have an active night life, for example, with pubs and hotels where the staff speak English, and where the players, the support staff, and the hangers-on can spend time after the matches. Considerations such as these, and not love of cricket or competence at cricket, is what the new entrants share with existing franchisees such as Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

The Indian Premier League may be more appropriately renamed the League of Privileged Indians. For this tournament both reflects and further intensifies a deep divide between the India of wealth and entitlement and the India — or Bharat — of poverty and disenfranchisement. Writing about the dangerous growth of inequality in India, the economist, Amartya Sen, warned some years ago that if present trends continued, half of India would look like the American state of California, the other half like sub-Saharan Africa. Since he made this comment, California has been beset with an acute — and apparently irreversible — fiscal crisis. Perhaps we might then substitute the state of Massachusetts for it. But the point remains; there are indeed two Indias, the one which is awarded IPL franchises, and the other which is not.

#3. “Match fixing” is a bogey that is repeatedly raised when results don’t go quite the way the form book seems to prescribe. For you, a cautionary tale: it is rarely, if ever, about fixing a match; the real money lies in spread betting, in laying wagers about moments in the game and about individual performances, and not on the match outcome itself. Check out what is happening in the England county circuit [related, here’s Scyld Berry on the implications for English cricket]:

English county cricket faces a test of its integrity with two Essex players under investigation for what is believed to be ‘spot fixing’, where bets are placed on elements of a match rather than the actual result. On Friday Essex police confirmed they were involved over ‘match irregularities’ and since then speculation has been rife over the depths to which potential corruption has spread.

Sources close to the investigation have told Cricinfo that anyone found guilty would face “very serious punishments” but the concern for the game is how to crack down on the illegal betting market in an era of satellite television and easy internet access.

More later — now back to what is already proving to be a bad Monday morning.

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13 thoughts on “IPL clips

  1. about 1#:
    Symmonds recently complained that if Modi wants to make IPL the biggest sporting event, he should treat the ‘cattle’ better. The ‘cattle’ that he is not very high in the Player value index at the IPL but certainly , one of the most highly paid cricketers in the league and is having a ball in these parties almost all the time. maybe about time he should start talking to his franchise to get excused to a few parties along with rest for a few matches :)?

  2. Previously Tharoor has denied links with Kochi and now this… Why lie in the first place? People holding the highest offices need to have more integrity than this.

  3. FYI. http://tinyurl.com/yd49857
    Related to a previous post of yours.

    ”The committee has spent an eye-popping Rs 29.29 lakh on snacks served at meetings to review ongoing projects.
    The committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi has so far convened 57 meetings and an expenditure of Rs 29.29 lakh was incurred on “snacks and other items” in connection with these meetings, the RTI reply states.”

  4. Prem on the IPL in last year’s edition at South Africa Modi made it a point to donate wads of money at every opportunity to schools in South Africa, however we hear nothing of the kind in this year’s edition for institutions here in India it’s really quite pathetic to see this kind of money being made but the absolute lack of philanthropy both by the BCCI as well as the team owners.

    Dale Steyn in his column asked why none of the huge sums of money raised in the IPL cannot be channeled to help wildlife in India.

    • Ganguly doesn’t rate any left-arm spinner highly and he used to treat L-A spinners with scant respect when he was batting. Murali Karthik played his prime cricket (domestic, county et al) when Ganguly was a captain of Indian team. Karthik, as a result, wasn’t picked invariably. Very disappointing indeed. Also, this is an aspect of Ganguly’s captaincy that I didn’t like – being pig-headed about certain things! :D.

      Ironically, it’s the same Karthik that’s saved KKR the bowling blushes in most games. altho’ Ganguly could be upset with him for dropping SRT’s catch too 🙂

      • The most disappointing thing was he was never picked for a test match after 2004; he won you a test match in Mumbai against Australia ; and was never given another chance; though India had 2 good spinners Kumble and Harbhajan; he could have been picked over Harbhajan who disappointed in the interim period

  5. Here is something on a bit of a tangent and some might complain of nit-picking as well.

    As soon as Mumbai Indians won yesterday, TV commentators went into hyperbole and started saying that Mumbai Indians are through to semis. But there still exist scenarios where MI will NOT be in top 4 at end of league games.

    I know that probability of this happening is very low, but still shouldn’t some time be spent on analyzing scenarios like this and then qualifying their statements with phrases like “virtually qualified”?

    This was probably expected from IPL TV commentators, but this seems to have been picked by print media. TOI says that MI is “first team to SEAL its place” (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/iplarticleshow/5785082.cms). Similar with HT.

    Cricinfo has got it right though with “…all but guaranteed them a place in the semi-final…”.

    It is probably small things like these which differentiates Cricinfo from TOI, etc., at least as far as Cricket reporting goes.

  6. On the match fixing bit at Essex, it’s rather unfortunate the headlines mentioned only 1 players whereas two of them were allegedly involved. English media tends to sensationalize events esp when it involves happenings from Asian cricket community. Guess, there’s no other way to attract attention since English cricket operates in only 1 mode – “Boring” 😀

  7. Guha has to view the IPL from a pre reforms India perspective where crony socialism was the norm than exception. The simple fact is that many cannot digest the how in short span of 3 years, IPL has become a successful business venture. IPL is run for money. I dont know about Pune, but it looks like it has got more to do with Mumbai getting a second franchise. Being a resident of Kuwait, I know for a fact the fan following of IPL amongst Indians, and especially the Kerala NRIs who form a major chunk of the NRIs in Kuwait and other Gulf Countries. Also the timing is very convenient – 6.30 pm for UAE and 5.30 pm for Kuwait. It makes sound business sense to have a Kerala team. And I dont think it has to do much with the ‘night life’ Kochi has to offer. If night life is the criteria, how come a ‘dry’ Ahmedabad is hosting IPL matches? I have not heard Guha crib about Reliance starting a refinery or Tata’s setting up an automobile plant. Why doest he moan about a group of ordinary indians not being able to start ventures of that magnitude?

  8. About #2,

    What does the author suggest? Keep more matches in places like nagpur where low attendance is the norm even when India is playing? Don’t know about pune but in Kochi the matches held there were sell-outs as far as I know.

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