If big money has been a big element of Indian Cricket the Indian Premier League (IPL) made it plain and complicated in its third avatar. And a cricketing tragedy was repeated in a more powerful way.
It is plain because of the transparent purchase deals with the cricketers. All the stars and players of Team India, all retired icons and ex players got sums that put test and one day cricket money to mockery. It is plain because of the transparency of the purchase deals of the eight franchises.
It is complicated when it comes to recovering the money spent or invested by the franchisees. The revenues in terms of gate money, television rights sales, ads in the stadiums, branding or co-branding and all are supposed to be split between them and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and there are no written rules about such deals. It got more complicated in 2010 when two more franchises or teams, Pune and Kochi, were purchased with astronomical sums which almost doubled the sum that seemed ‘practical’. Even the former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi found it ‘unexpected’. The buyers termed them as ‘prestige’ deals. bet in ipl now Of course, they all want a ride of glamour, attention, hype and sleaze, but they will never prefer losing their hard earned money. So, the hidden agenda.
The hidden agenda remained hidden till the third version of the IPL. Involvement of a minister of the Indian Government who was forced to resign later blew the lid this time. A barrage of invectives between Modi and the minister followed, the BCCI promptly separated itself from Modi, crucial papers and files got missing, former cricketers were implicated and things got so murky that the moment the final of IPL-3 ended, Lalit Modi was sacked by the BCCI.
The side deals, payoffs, kick backs, betting and all came to the fore. Very naturally so, in a business that involved billions.
It is complicated due to the high pressure and politics. The players have to perform to justify sums spent on them and yield returns to owners, the owners have to motivate the players to perform, team selections matters need to be handled, batting order and bowling order must be adjusted depending on performance, fitness problems sorted out and the cricket revelers must be hooked continuously to the ‘shows’.
And big money comes to rule absolutely. Big money corrupts and spoils as we have already seen. Matters of genuine cricket and cricket lovers get relegated to the back burner. Since the dawn of the IPL in 2008 a cricketing tragedy loomed on the horizon and now it is extremely large. More of it later.