Ipl08’s Weblog

June 12, 2008

Stanford XI

Filed under: cricket — ipl08 @ 6:52 am

Stanford-England-West Indies yesterday announced their expensive deal. “The winner takes all concept” is probably one of the few I have seen – I cannot recall another such one in any other team sport (especially of such a large sum -let me know if you know of any).

Imagine if you were Raina, Kapugedera, Balaji, Patel or even Dhoni for the losing side, or worse yet if you are Fernando/Jayasuriya and you cost your teammates $1 million by one mistake of yours… can the team handle it (will there be more slaps – will there be more bickering?). Is it fair? There will of course be a lot of drama due to the above, and therefore a good audience – but it just does not seem right.

Already the IPL players are paid so heavily for 6 weeks of cricket but this means the winning team members from the Stanford match will make more in that one match than most of the IPL players for the entire season. I think the prize money is more than what the Wimbeldon winner gets after the 2 weeks and is only lesser than what a leading formula one driver makes per race (if my conversion of dollars-pounds->euros->rupees is correct). So they will be the highest paid sportsmen for those 3 hours? Is this good for cricket? How will this impact the IPL in the near term? Will the English players not look to sign up for the IPL? Will the IPL raise the salary cap to match these terms?

Lastly, does Stanford beat BCCI for “tackiness and display of wealth”? Coming in a helicopter and then displaying the $20 million for all to see – yikes.

June 5, 2008

IPL Commentary

Filed under: cricket — ipl08 @ 3:30 pm

At one point during the final, while discussing why Albie Morkel was batting at No. 4 for Chennai, Rameez said: “I think it’s because Smith is not playing, [and] they needed experience up the order.” Graeme Smith, of course, plays for Rajasthan, so why his omission should cause Morkel to come up the order for Chennai remains a mystery”

I saw the above in this nicely written piece.(The only piece I disagree with is Sangakkara) . I had done a double-take when I heard this during the match – wondering if I heard it wrong or completely missed the point, and I think the match was so good that I forget about it later….

Here is another one in the media from an earlier match – “late drama for Chennai – Manpreet Gony and Manoj Tiwary helped see the Chennai Super Kings claim a dramatic four-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.”

  • No wonder CSK did so well: They have several opposition players playing for them :-)
  • No wonder Badri is not getting is due: People think he is Tiwary.
  • Don’t we need a DLF award for the commentary – most bloopers in the tournament – A green cap?

Things IPL has to improve on

Filed under: Uncategorized — ipl08 @ 8:30 am

From a fan experience, these are things that IPL has to improve on:

Over rate: The finals started at 8.15pm and went on till midnight. Nearly 4 hours long. Warne took so long bowling the death overs that I am sure next year SetMax will contemplate putting advertisements in between balls (they could have easily shown 2 ads for each ball). If the match is on a weekday, and it takes so long, by the time you get back home, especially if you have difficulties, you will probably get back around 2.00am. – which makes it very hard for working next day. Even for TV viewing, IPL needs to ensure that over-rates don’t get out of hand. The penalty has to be really stiff (dock the number of overs for the team in the next innings they bat or atleast 50% of the match fee for each member of the entire team so that there is a collective responsibility).

Website: Their expensive official website needs a lot of work. In the first couple of weeks, the only time you could access it was in the early morning hours as it kept crashing. There was a delay of several days before information is updated. I just checked to see if they have added any new/interesting features and frankly it is still too slow to navigate that it is probably the last site I will check for any news pertaining to the IPL.

CSK Website: I have not checked any other team website – but CSK’s loads at a decent pace and they have kept it simple. I am usually not one to register at fanzones, but I had to do that to buy e-tickets, and the fan zone has no features. The e-tickets have to be picked up at the stadium atleast one day prior to the match – so you have to make 2 trips… Also the shirt/cap has read sold out from virtually day one and I have not seen its sale at the stadium when I was there. The electronic scoreboard did not work in the second innings of 2 matches I was there for – so it was hard to keep track of things. There is a lot more they can do to make the spectator experience better.

TV Coverage: Breaking for ads in mid-sentence, before replay is shown, etc. Commentary could be much better.

Mid-season trade: That will add a lot of drama to the league?

What else would you like to see?

June 4, 2008

IPL and cheerleaders

Filed under: cricket,ipl — ipl08 @ 9:27 am

There were distinct sides to watching the IPL cheerleaders: At the stadium I barely noticed them – most of time I was watching the game, listening to the drumming/music or was watching fellow spectators dance/drum. I was not very close to the boundary in any of the matches, so I barely spotted them… When the match was in a boring phase, the cheerleaders also kept quiet – so they were really not effective.

On the other hand, on television the cameras focused on the cheerleaders much more. And if you were watching the match with a young nephew – you were always poised for any embarrassing questions. To those who say you see much more in bollywood movies – that is true – but I would not take my nephews out to see a movie with item numbers. We can be selective about the movies we watch and I would not want to be selective about watching a sporting event.

If the IPL is serious about portraying themselves as family entertainment and increasing female viewership, why do many teams have only female cheerleaders? I have no qualms about cheerleading as a profession, and in western countries they don’t look out of place at all. In India these women are exposed to vulgar comments and racist discrimination. That Indian society needs to treat women better is not in doubt and not the point of the post. My point is simply that the cheerleaders did not add any value for me during the IPL experience.

And on a final note, if you have to have cheerleaders why import them – the local dancers will be better at the bollywood numbers and probably understand cricket more than their American counterparts.

June 3, 2008

IPL trading rules for dummies

Filed under: cricket,ipl — ipl08 @ 8:56 am

I think I just gave away my profession with the title?

I have tried to see what rules/guidelines that teams must follow for trading in Feb. I have not seen any links yet- so maybe Modi/owners/BCCI will make them up only now. If you know of any, please post them.

Strictly hypothetical situations (not something I want or expect especially the first one) –

  • Can Dhoni be traded to RCB (for Dravid and cash or for Kallis and 3 other players)?
  • Do they need consent of the players?
  • Can someone be poached? Example Marsh to KKR for extra money?
  • Can Watson renegotiate his contract with RR for more money?
  • Do the teams and players have to both consent?
  • Can a n-team trade happen- Example Dravid to Delhi, McGrath & Vettori to Mumbai and Uthappa to Bangalore?
  • If no one wishes to get a player, can they be released by paying cash? Does the salary cap become open then?
  • Now that many of the teams have brought in additional players for those who had to leave mid-season are they contracted for one year or three years?
  • How will the English players get in?
  • What about the under-19 players restriction. Since many of them will now be 20, does that change?

Who would be the most likely candidates to be traded and who will each team not let go at any cost? What would you like to see and what do you expect? Anyone can shed more light?

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