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    April 27, 2010

    Players v/s owners at the IPL

    One aspect of the IPL that I've been really curious about is the relationship between the players and the franchise owners.

    The first time I thought about it was when Sachin Tendulkar showed interest in having a stake in the Mumbai franchise. At that time, the BCCI did not allow it because it decreed that a playing member couldn't be a shareholder of the team.

    It is bizarre that a BCCI official can own stake in an IPL team since Sharad Pawar, as BCCI President, ruled in N Srinivasan's favour. According to Pawar, the franchise bid was by a company and Srinivasan was not a bidder in his individual capacity. Hence, there was no conflict of interest.

    Now that argument against having players own equity in the franchise sounds so stupid and outdated. Many organizations, across sectors, provide some sort of equity (sweat or otherwise!), in order to retain and motivate their employees. It makes a lot of sense that players have equity in the franchise.

    All that Sachin Tendulkar had to do was to setup a company in someone else's name, and convince Mukesh-bhai and Nina-ben to sell some of their stake to the new company. Alternately, he would need to have a relative own equity in say Teesta Retail Pvt. Ltd.. I'd hardly be surprised if he was not a shareholder, directly or indirectly, in Mumbai Indians.

    It does seem to me, based on a couple of reports & interviews in the last 24 hours or so, that the team owners exercise a disproportionate influence on the team, especially on cricketing matters.

    Were Chennai Super Kings' selection & on-field decisions influenced by an astrologer who Srinivasan and Srikkanth fervently believe in?

    Dhoni does brush it under the carpet, saying that superstition is part of cricket. I think NDTV had an interview with Hayden yesterday, where he was non-committal about the practices bordering on occult.

    Shilpa Shetty sounds as close to arrogant as possible when the CNBC-TV18 interviewer asks her "How does the team react to you". She raises her eyebrow and haughtily says "We are the owners, they're nice to us".

    If there is a trend here of owners thinking they are superior to the players, or that they can control everything about the game, it's not really good news especially considering there will be a fresh auction next year.

    Even if the IPL rules say that a franchise can retain a certain number of India internationals, foreign players, etc., there is nothing that stops a player from choosing to participate in the player auction in 2011.

    Players who are frustrated with their team management or owners will leave. Their contract period is over. It is one of the fundamental principles of a free market.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:02 am |
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    1 sledge(s):

    World Class Tournament In India {IPL} : The addition of teams representing Pune and Kochi was to have increased the number of franchises from 8 to 10. The BCCI originally considered extending the tournament format used in previous season to ten teams, which would increase the number of matches from 60 to 94. Instead, the round-robin stage of the tournament was to have been replaced by a group stage with two groups of five, limiting the number of matches to 74.

    By Blogger solvent (05-May-2011, 4:05:00 pm)  

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