Modi update

An update to the earlier post:

This is totally overblown,” Colin Graves, the Yorkshire chairman, told the Guardian on the accusation that Modi’s plans had the potential to “hijack” the game. “It was a fact-finding mission. Lalit Modi did not put a proposition on the table. There were no secret proposals, no secret agenda, nothing underhand,” Graves said.


“IPL has been extraordinarily successful and we can learn a lot from it. There was a proper business discussion about how things might develop in the future, the sort of discussions that can benefit the whole of English cricket. Stewart Regan took notes of the meeting and forwarded them to all the Test grounds. I then passed those notes to Giles Clarke. Lalit Modi invited all representatives of the Test grounds to be his personal guests at the IPL final. We turned the invitation down as we were not in a position to discuss anything in detail.”

According to Clarke, Modi had presented the counties with a commercial proposition wherein if they supported his idea, the IPL would guarantee each county a minimum of $3-5 million per annum plus a staging fee of $1.5 million. “We have not been guaranteed anything, but if anybody puts anything on the table we will discuss it. We have nine Test grounds and only seven Tests a year. We have to find ways to fill these grounds outside the England team. The nine Test grounds are united in the belief we cannot allow the status quo to continue. There is no future in us creating another Twenty20 competition for all 18 counties. It is not attractive enough to fill the Test grounds. We have to create something new and exciting, a tournament with the appeal of IPL, a British version. We will continue to put these ideas to Giles,” Graves said.

From Cricinfo. [Hat tip: Tifosiguy]. Also from Cricinfo, the master plan, in greater detail. The question I have is — the county representatives attended the meeting; Giles did not. Where did he get the details in this mail from?

14 thoughts on “Modi update

  1. Prem,

    You have been defending Raina, saying that he looks ungainly when he plays bouncers, but somehow finds a way out. I felt yesterday’s match just reiterated the contrary point: when confronted with quality short pitched bowling, he indulges in cavalier strokeplay, with little chance of success, and actually does not find his way out. The worst part is not that he failed, but that he makes the same mistakes and does not appear to have a coherent strategy to tackle the short stuff. Here’s Harsha Bhogle echoing similar thoughts:

    Maybe I am too skeptical, but I think Raina needs to show more, and sustained, evidence to convince me that he can actually handle the short pitched stuff. Not necessarily look elegant while playing it, but atleast find a way to score without throwing away his wicket – like Steve Waugh.

  2. On yesterday’s match-Captain Cool was not so cool after all! Reinforces my theory-that in Cricket captains look when it all comes out well,otherwise all are ordinary.Right from team selection to bowling Jadeja in successive overs Captaincy was at fault,but am sure Flak will not be directed at MSD

  3. Lalit Modi, on Twitter just now: “Another day. Another sow cause notice. Any guesses as to who’s purpose ECB’s Giles Clark is serving?

  4. The premise is if BCCI is able to bring 25 charges against LKM, they are hoping atleast one will stick. Plus it keeps the man defamed in media who love to hate him anyways.

    Same way as Al Capone was incarcerated for tax evasion…

  5. Prem, below is what THE MAIL says, and I assume that it is authentic (which is not a given, but…). I personally also thinks eventually Franchisee based system is going to replace international cricket in long term. But thats a different issue. If the mail is authentic, dont you think that BCCI has enough in their hands to give a Show-Cause notice to Modi? As far as I know, the things told in the mail is an outright agenda to replace the existing power structure in cricket with a new one. Why shouldn’t the existing power structure feel aggrieved, especially since Modi is doing all this by working within the existing structure?

    The mail also spelt out potential courses of action should the national boards oppose the new league:

    Players could be induced to revolt against the national boards, given their desire to capitalise on their earning power. It cites MS Dhoni as an example of some earning several times more than his BCCI salary from his IPL contract and spin-offs.

    Alternatively, franchisees could buy out players who are prevented from playing in the league by their national boards and create their own cricket structure, thereby shifting the power structure of cricket.

    Finally, Modi suggests such a development is inevitable even without the co-operation of the ICC, as players would rather play for money than their national or state / country sides. The smaller nations could be compensated for the loss of revenue from international games to allow the growth of the Twenty20 version.

    “ODIs have reached a saturation point and though unlikely to disappear, cannot grow any further. Tests are almost redundant and only T20 has growth value.

    “This would practically mean just a handful of nations playing international cricket and their players spending the rest of their time playing the IPL and its UK version, while the smaller countries sit idle and don’t get to play any games.”

    • JazzyB,

      My only concern is. the matters stated in that email is pretty damning. Why would Giles Clarke wait for so long before raising it to BCCI? The other question is why BCCI? Why not ICC? The matters discussed in that email, is something ICC should be involved. Isn’t it ?

      • because till a month back Clarke thought Modi was BCCI / ICC and the holy trinity rolled in one.

    • Prabhu raises one question, Jazzy. The other is — who is the source for all this? Three/four county reps attended and they have one version. So somewhere, there is another voice entering this conversation, and no one knows who that voice is. Throughout this imbroglio, I like most friends in the media have had various parties whispering stuff in my ears, and I have a fair idea of how this game is being played these days. Hence my skepticism.

      Even taking all this at face value, there is a counter argument to be made. The reason why players would be susceptible to such offers is that for too long, the boards have been milking their efforts — but have not shown the ability to maximize revenues, and to provide them with good money. I have a perishable skill set, and my use by date is not 50 years, but 30. So confronted with these two options, I am apt to pick a system where I maximize my income. That is how it is in all sport. In fact, in all fields of life. So I am not per se opposed to cricketers going where the money is.

      That leaves the question of organized sport. Why is it under threat? Because “organized” is a misnomer [hence my point about the WI-SL series of last year]. The solution to that is to organize better — not to try and stifle all other initiatives.

      And all of the above is predicated on the Mail story being right. Which I am not so sure about.

    • Oh, and like you, I believe the franchise system is ultimately where the game should go. With international cricket properly rationalized, into a calendar of compelling contests that have a back story, that have context. Seriously — what idiots in the two boards thought playing 7 game ODI series between India and Australia every damn year was a good idea, and what was the ICC thinking when it signed off on it? Why should anyone take such an administrative structure seriously?

      • There is no reason why cricket boards can’t pump in the money franchises can. It’s only a matter of intent and that’s been lacking from pretty much every cricket board. They cited the case of Dhoni. He has a central contract with the BCCI for Rs.60 lakh. That’s less than 10% of his contract with CSK!!!

        The franchise system does’t work for me because these businessmen are simply borrowing the talent created by cricket boards. Once players start jumping ship the cricket boards will stop putting money into developing talent and maintaining stadia, which means the franchises will have to take it up and all of a sudden their costs will go up considerably. How will they pay these cricketers the millions they’re promising now?

        • Mahek,

          Cricket boards not pumping in money is a matter of intent, but the intent is absent simple because they have no incentive to do so. They run as monopolies.

          Also cricket boards don’t “create” talent. Talent exists, and currently goes to the entity that has a monopoly in giving it a platform.

          Sports are a cultural phenomena, not an administrative one.

          Also why do you assume businessmen will not invest in identifying & developing talent? It’s in their interest to do so and they have an incentive to do so. Loosely equivalent to a company investing in R&D no?

          • I doubt this R& D theory . How many companies in India are investing in R&D activities ?

            Even in Established football leagues of Europe, clubs are not investing in young talent( except a handful such as Arsenel/Barcelona).

            The fields of Eastern Europe/Africa/Latin America are the feeding and breeding grounds for top European clubs . They send scouts to watch young talent and try to poach them cheap. They put them in their so called academies and then put them into top flight football

            Hardly any club makes efforts to take malleable youngsters and make them top football stars. All they want is readymade talent.

            This has given raise to a strange economy in European football.
            1. There are top clubs which earn all the money( whether they make profit is another question all together)
            2. Other clubs at the bottom or in Eastern Europe/Africa/Latin America who try to earn a subsistnace by selling their nurtured talents.

      • Prem

        I agree that the contests need to have contexts. Meaningless contests are a big turn off.

        However I have my doubt whether franchisee based model will solve that problem. After intitial euphoria, the league or whatever its offshoot , will lose excitement. Except top 3-4 franchises, everyone else will fall off( It is what is happening in EPL- where except games involving top 4-5 clubs, rest donot have any context or following- Who will get any interest in Burnley V Portsmouth except for a few die hard fans).

        In IPL also we will have such contests with no TRPs and broadcasters will price this in. It is not happening now but will happen once this becomes 12 months 200 game event instead of 2 months 60 games event

      • Prem, correction. I didnt mean that “Cricket *should* go the franchisee way”, I just meant “Cricket *will*”. I am at a loss to prefer which one.

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