The fans get hurt, the system is flawed, and well, it’s all messy
Not long after the Kings XI Punjab managed to scrape a stay order against the BCCI’s decision to scrap the former from the Indian Premier League, the final list of players retained by their individual franchises was made public by the governing council. And boom, all the speculations and the unwanted anticipations came true. The decisions taken by the franchises weren’t very pleasing, at least not to the fans. Most teams ignored the option of retaining players and made a strong statement that they were barely bothered about the game and were only concentrating on the commerce of the league.
With the decisions made, only two teams viz. Chennai and Mumbai have their actual “heroes” in the lineup whereas albeit Rajasthan has retained two of their mainstream players, Watson and Warne are relatively ranked lower on massive fan attraction when compared with the likes of Tendulkar and Dhoni.
The biggest surprise came from the Kolkata and the Bangalore contingents as both the teams set their icon players free; they axed those players who actually popularized their team’s brand and those players who helped build the entire fan base.
It’s not a rocket science fact that Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly are responsible for generating more than the half of RCB and KKR fan-base. But now that they aren’t a part of these sides, I wonder what is going to happen to the fans? More than that, the question that holds a greater significance is – how will the current teams minus the original players retain their old faithful fans?
Long story short, though teams won’t have difficulty to generate new fans, the fans will struggle switching teams.
But the irony is it is still uncertain which teams will play the season four. And hence, no one actually knows which player will be playing for which franchise.
And that’s where the system goes entirely wrong. BCCI shouldn’t have had, a) kept the retaining rules like they’re now and b) the total concept of bringing new teams, scrapping them, then fighting court cases makes no sense at all.
As far as retaining team goes – BCCI surely did set foot on the wrong paddle. Instead of keeping an option for franchises to retain players, BCCI should have directed the franchises to retain a number of four (or n) players. This particular proposed is surely a bad one for (some) the franchises and the BCCI, it is despite that fact, a good one for the fans.
Why it’s bad for franchisees and BCCI? Well, some franchisees would want a new team altogether just because things didn’t work out in the last three seasons and hence asking them to retain four players minimum is just asking them to retain their team’s entire image.
For the BCCI, they’ll of course lose the revenue a particular player generates when auctioned. (Citation required, because I’m not exactly sure about the revenue part of the IPL, it is very damp).
And hence, every bit of idea comes down to the commercial aspect of the game – which is why the idea of the IPL, which on the first place is a dazzling concept, goes totally wrong.
Meaning to say, you’ve got to consider the game after all. That’s where the problem is. People want to make absolute money from it. I don’t say making money is bad – it’s essential after all, but to a certain extent. The same path is being followed by Cricket Australia (CA) as they tweaked the one-day format. Now they said it was for the fans but frankly, it was for the money. However, that is a different debate altogether.
Another question is what at the first place was the need to go for two more teams just after three years of the IPL? And if you decide to do that, why do you want to restructure all the old teams? Stating that it will be unfair to the new teams is just bullocks, at least to me.
Well, you see – the first eight franchises were competent enough to buy teams and if you just wanted some nice advantages, why not submit a good bid and get a team while the first auction itself, eh? And so it’s clear it was the new franchises’ fault and that shouldn’t be particularly be paid by the old ones. And as an alternative case, the idea of more teams wasn’t just good enough. Let the system run as it is. Why be greedy?
And so that brings us here. I for one am a complete crazy cricket fan. Watching Rahul Dravid bat with a strike rate of 23 in a test innings is better than doing anything else for me on any given day. And I loved adoring Dravid in the Bangalore contingent. In fact I loved Bangalore camp because of Dravid at the first place. And then I loved it for having Kumble, having Kallis, having PK and having Steyn.
The love of Bangalore induced the love for Kohli in me. But now everything’s in a disarray. I am just not able to think whom I’m going support. God’s grace it is that Dhoni and SRT will be the part of their teams and so will Sehwag be. Speaking of, I wonder how Delhi afforded to let Gambhir free. It sounds dumb. And so does the axing of Yuvraj – yeah his badass image, his inconsistency all on one side, but at the end of the day, he is a match-winner and given the fact he was out of form for the last year or so, I bet he’ll BE in form next IPL season, and that, of course, if IPL takes place.
Guest Article by Rahul Bhagchandani
Rahul is an engineering student in the afternoon, a cricket critic in the evening and a budding computer programmer by the night. He writes his engineering assignments alright but has a cricket blog and a tech blog where he writes about his passions. You can follow him on Twitter here.
- IPL 4: Dravid, Ganguly, Gambhir up for grabs (cricketnext.in.com)