March 2008

Vol 7 - No. 9
























Sports | March 2008



Other sports are now in 'Indian Poverty League'

Left demands ban on Twenty20 cricket


IPL: Win-win for the Indian Cricket fan 
The tournament would be held at eight venues in India from April 18 to June 1.

The IPL was conceived to counter the rebel Indian Cricket League, which recently held its tournament in northern India with big names like West Indiesí Brian Lara and Pakistanís Inzamam-ul-Haq... The IPL tournament is brainchild of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and backed by the International Cricket Council.  


The Indian Premier League auction drama is over, but the game is just about to begin. IPL has drawn great attention for all the "wrong" reasons. We have heated debates about the kind of money the auction generated: "Is this kind of money good for the game?", "Will it drive cricketers away from the national team?", "Will the players be loyal to the national team?"

Before we ask these questions, let's get this straight. Indian cricketers and cricketers from the sub continent have been sold for huge amounts of money because the crowds come to watch them. We love cricket and we love cricketers from the sub continent. They give us great joy when they tick and make us angry when they play badly. Our lives revolve around their form. And their inconsistency brings exciting, nail-biting finishes to our living rooms.

So why grudge them the money they have attracted? These players have worked hard, lived their lives the hard way, sacrificed many family vacations that you and I could go to because they had to slog their backs off to secure a place in the national team and make a career for themselves.

About the money they have attracted, it's natural for a lot of us, who can't dream of earning that sum in one lifetime, to feel envious. But this is the beginning of IPL and the money they have attracted now is only because the Indian team did a great job by winning the first T20 World Cup. They made us swell with pride by beating Pakistan in the T20 finals. "Chak Diya India" occupied our TV screens. Do we have the same pride when Indians do well in other sports?

Most players, who have been bought at astronomical rates, may not attract the amount again. Their fortunes fluctuate with their form. One bad season for Dhoni and we'll all forget Dhoni ever existed in the Indian team. Do we even remember a Joginder Sharma? So the players are taking a risk of being dropped from the national squad if they play badly in IPL.

We worship our cricketers, but when they earn money, we wonder if they deserve to be paid so much. We donít realise that these cricketers attract money because we have made them icons. Because we don't mind spending a whole night queuing up outside the stadium to buy a ticket to watch a match. True, the cricketers work hard and play well, but playing well alone doesnít guarantee crowds. It's we, the Blue Billion army, which makes the cricketers earn their millions.

After the IPL auctions, there have been angry protests about how other sports are going to be neglected. But weren't these sports in a sad state even before IPL was launched? Why don't we throng the stadiums when a local football match is held? Why don't federations from other sports work as well as BCCI and tap the potential of sportspersons? Other sports donít get media coverage and sponsors because we donít go out to watch them or cheer them on. Hockey, football, kabbadi and other sports suffer because people managing the show donít want to move an inch to market the game. So why blame cricketers and BCCI for other sports being neglected in India?

Let's face it, we all enjoy cricket. We forget our daily chores when India is playing a match. Life comes to a standstill when an India match is as exciting as the one we witnessed between Sri Lanka and India at Adelaide. And when India loses, a billion people grieve.

People who are complaining about IPL today will be the first to queue up for a ticket to these matches. The rest will be glued to their TV sets. So stop complaining, and enjoy the feast IPL is about to dish out.

And look at the brighter side, we won't be down and out when a team loses because every team has a member from the Indian cricket team. So whether a team wins or loses, it's a win-win situation for the Indian cricket fan.

Rogerr Patell is a cricket enthusiast. This article was first published on Email: 


Left demands ban on Twenty20 cricket


KOLKATA: The government should ban Twenty20 cricket and ascertain the source of income for the BCCI-backed multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League, veteran CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta demanded on February 23.


Describing Twenty20 cricket as a "gamble" involving "widespread betting" and "free investment of unaccounted money", Dasgupta alleged that a cabinet minister was involved in the "caricature of the game and looting cricket lovers."


Dasgupta was apparently referring to Agriculture Minister and Maharashtra political heavyweight Sharad Pawar, who heads the cash-rich BCCI.


"No player can exhibit talent in this format. It's a shameful attempt by unscrupulous people to make money. Unfortunately, there is no opposition to this, either from cricketers or from the government," the senior parliamentarian said.


"The standards and morality of cricket will go down because of Twenty20 cricket and events like IPL. Cricket will be destroyed," Dasgupta said.


Filmstars Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Preity Zinta, and industrialists Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya and Ness Wadia were among those who recently shelled out billions of rupees in bids to become franchise owners of Indian Premier League teams and rope in star players from India and abroad. 


[Source: Times of India]


   Other sports are now in 'Indian Poverty League'


If at all proof was needed that cricket is no more a sport but just another industry, then the Indian Premier League is a shining example. The franchisee team owners and the BCCI would like us to believe that their cause is the game and its 'upliftment', while the mind-boggling financials involved are secondary.

You only need to look at the figures that one cannot even begin to count and ask of the team owners why they had not thought of spending just a small percentage of the staggering amounts they have coughed up to run academies or indulge in such grassroot activities like sponsoring needy and talented kids. The reason is the bottom-line. [Read More...]


Jaipur Shane Warne (US$ 450,000), Graeme Smith (US$ 475,000), Younis Khan (US$ 225,000), Kamran Akmal (US$ 150,000), Yusuf Pathan (US$ 475,000), Mohammad Kaif (US$ 675,000),

Chennai MS Dhoni (US$ 1.5 million), Muttiah Muralitharan (US$ 600,00), Matthew Hayden (US$ 375,000), Jacob Oram (US$ 675,000), Stephen Fleming (US$ 350,000), Parthiv Patel (US$ 325,000), Joginder Sharma (US$ 225,000), Albie Morkel (US$ 675,000), Suresh Raina (US$ 650,000)

Mumbai Sachin Tendulkar (icon), Sanath Jayasuriya (US$ 975,000), Harbhajan Singh (US$ 850,000), Shaun Pollock (US$ 550,000), Robin Uthappa (US$ 800,000)

Bangalore Rahul Dravid (icon), Anil Kumble (US$ 500,000), Jacques Kallis (US$ 900,000), Zaheer Khan (US$ 450,000), Mark Boucher (US$ 450,000), Cameron White (US$ 500,000), Wasim Jaffer (US$ 150,000)

Hyderabad Adam Gilchrist (US$ 700,000), Andrew Symonds (US$ 1.35 million), Herschelle Gibbs (US$ 575,000), Shahid Afridi (US$ 675,000), Scott Styris (US$ 175,000), VVS Laxman (US$ 375,000), Rohit Sharma (US$ 750,000), Chamara Silva (US$ 100,000)

Mohali Yuvraj Singh (icon), Mahela Jayawardene (US$ 475,000), Kumar Sangakkara (US$ 700,000), Brett Lee (US$ 900,000), Sreesanth (US$ 625,000), Irfan Pathan (US$ 925,000)

Kolkata Sourav Ganguly (icon), Shoaib Akhtar (US$ 425,000), Ricky Ponting (US$ 400,000), Brendon McCullum (US$ 700,000), Chris Gayle (US$ 800,000), Ajit Agarkar (US$ 330,000), David Hussey (US$ 675,000)

Delhi Virender Sehwag (icon), Daniel Vettori (US$ 625,000), Shoaib Malik (US$ 500,000), Mohammad Asif (US$ 650,000), AB de Villiers (US$ 300,000), Dinesh Karthik (US$ 525,000), Farveez Maharoof (US$ 225,000), Tillakaratne Dilshan (US$ 250,000), Manoj Tiwary (US$ 675,000), Gautam Gambhir (US$ 725,000)



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