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
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.
Labels: economics, india, indian premier league, ipl 2009, security, tv rights, twenty20