Friday, April 09, 2010


It's summer & it's IPL time… probably IPL is getting hotter than summer hotness in India, by the year. Several people have written about valuation of IPL as brand, money making machine, best timeslots for advertisement, way it's pulling even non-cricket lovers etc, - all these are true… I'm only going to talk about macro situation that helped IPL (as a business) & raise few questions.

I think few people may know, ICL by Subhash Chandra was the first to introduce the cricket league in India & ONLY reason he failed was because of "authority" from BCCI - warning any players joining ICL league to be dropped / not allowed into official India team to represent the country. This authority of BCCI, is the macro condition that helped IPL (as a business sense) to build a similar league… and snubbed ICL. Is BCCI a government body? NO, it's run as a trust with big money in coffers that attract the politicians & big names from heading the body. I have only seen one person from government questioning the way IPL is being held by BCCI… that's MS Gill, Sports Minister - stating the conflict of interest from internal BCCI folks, either owning / representing as IPL Franchisees & potentially manipulating the rules to their favor?

Don’t get the feeling that I hate IPL / being a sour grape… I'm happy India & BCCI has been innovative in creating such a great event… that directly & indirectly generated so many jobs, money flow apart from opportunity for the youngsters to play at such competitive levels. But, I'm only questioning… what has IPL given back to community of Cricket or Sports in general? Few ideas to suggest…

  • Upgrade the stadium facilities to state of the art, so people can really enjoy watch matches from stadium & not just double the ticket rates every year
  • Build new cricket stadiums in smaller towns - have we not seen lot of talent coming from smaller towns? With better infrastructure… we should see more talented players?
  • Shouldn’t BCCI nurture & support other sports along? - instead of just selling all the AD Revenue to commercial - can they spare few minutes to encourage other sports or events?
  • Can IPL associate with a noble cause? - AIDS Awareness, by sharing the implications of AIDS or sharing story of an affected person... before every match? I know it may not sound good to hear sad things... but we need such measures to curb growing AIDS in India
I have seen startup companies adopt philanthropy as part of company culture from start, that has helped them give something back to community as they grow & make space for themselves. For a business like IPL, in India… there are several such noble causes that IPL can associated with or the franchisee owners? If only, the authorities open their eyes.

IPL is great… I enjoy watching RCB matches, once in a while during weekends - have a great summer & enjoy!



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