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    March 16, 2009

    IPL facing far too many questions

    Before India's general election dates were announced, there was little doubt over the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League being held. The primary concerns were over what all it would be blamed for, the impact of the attack in Lahore and whether anyone would actually care if Andrew Symonds or Ricky Ponting were missing.

    However, it soon became apparent that the Indian government was not quite thrilled with the schedule drawn up for the IPL because the priority in terms of deployment security personnel would (obviously) be for the conduct of elections. After some initial attempts at playing down the issue, the IPL administrators then got into overdrive to accomodate the concerns of the various agencies involved in providing security for the games - the central government, the state police, the state government, etc.

    Now, the situation is still in limbo. Revised schedules are being drawn up and I guess things will clear up in the next 2-3 days. I'm sure the IPL administrators will accommodate the government's concerns (as if they had any other choice! It's actually fun to see Lalit Modi actually acknowledging the power of some other authority!). I do believe that the IPL will find in its favour that the government would not want a situation where a sporting event was cancelled for security reasons.

    This though doesn't really mean everything else is hunky-dory. Even if the revised schedule is arrived at and announced, there's no guarantee that audiences can actually watch the games. The IPL administration and Sony Entertainment Television (who has the broadcast rights for the Indian sub-continent) are at loggerheads after the BCCI suddenly attempted to remove SET as the broadcaster. That issue is now in the courts.

    I do hope that the court also accepts public interest litigations on the actual quality of TV telecasts. I don't think I'm too far away from a stage where I won't bother following a game "live" on TV. Coverage on TV is so irritating to follow, because even as the ball is up in the air and a fielder is getting under it, we're transported to an ad break. The logical next step is that when a bowler loses his run-up, we go for an ad break.

    Then of course, there's the whole question of the on-field happenings. I think right now, even 50-over games are forcing bowlers into considering retirement. For evidence, consider the recent India-New Zealand ODI series. It produced the highest ever runrate for a series of 3 games or more and the 2nd highest for a tournament of any length excluding games involving minnow sides (a definition that does include Bangladesh & Zimbabwe but excludes England).

    Yes, the grounds were smaller than Ashish Nehra's brain, and the pitches were flatter than Cameron White's legbreaks. But the fact remains that bowlers, by and large, are being made so irrelevant that they might as well not bother turning up. Do I love watching batsmen smacking bowlers around? Sure, at most once or twice a series. Would followers of the IPL T20 games love seeing nothing but sixes and fours? Chances are the answer is no.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:40 PM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    Just a question.

    How would a one-day game look on a pitch where one end is bowler friendly while the other end is a belter?

    Better still, in a test match, make a pitch where one end is flat on the first day and turns into a dust-bowl on day 5 while the other end assists seamers on day one and becomes a good batting wicket as the game progresses, with being a belter on day 5!

    That way, both batsman and bowler are evenly matched, and it would be a test of captaincy!

    By Blogger Mayuresh Gaikwad (17-Mar-2009, 3:56:00 PM)  

    Boards really have lost the plot with these belters in ODI games. Low scoring games and the loss of wickets tend to bring teams closer together leading to more competitive contests. For example the recent tri-series between Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka was one of the most entertaining in recent memory, even though two of the teams were bad, because almost all of the games were close right to the end due to the slow, green wickets.
    Especially for New Zealand facing India, a much better team on paper, one would think that they would make green wickets to get an edge over the unfamiliar Indian side. Historically NZ have had one of the biggest home advantages, but they wasted it in this series.
    I would appreciate it if you could link back to my blog:

    By Blogger cricketanalysisdotcom (22-Mar-2009, 12:53:00 AM)  

    Mayuresh - Interesting, but I dare say quite difficult to implement :)

    Cricketanalysisdotcom - Totally agree, but there're good reasons why NZC is wary of having dicey pitches this time around. As it is, India're touring there for the first time after 2002/3. Another tour with overly bowler-friendly conditions would have pretty much seen the BCCI sign the "So long, let's meet in 2036" note.

    By Blogger Jagadish (23-Mar-2009, 11:22:00 AM)  

    its not just about the bcci saying 'no' to touring nz, jagadish. i think nzc are apprehensive about a seaming wicket, bcoz even then the visitors have a better attack to use it to the fullest.

    even in t1, there was just 1 session when the wicket was seamer-friendly and india effectively won the match in that session.

    By Blogger Ganesh (23-Mar-2009, 8:26:00 PM)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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