Anil Thakraney: The IPL diary

30 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney

 

The two month long drama is done and dusted. (I use the word ‘dusted’ hesitatingly… goodness knows if there are more skeletons waiting to tumble out.) It’s a good time to take stock of the IPL and make some suggestions for the next season.

 

Since the overall television ratings were on the lower side this year, it indicates a strong possibility of audience fatigue having set in. My hunch is there are just too many matches in the tournament… the numbers must be scaled down. I think the IPL should be a one-month event, this would make sure audience attention doesn’t flag. And the tournament doesn’t lose its appeal.

 

There have to be very powerful and effective mechanisms put in place to rid the tournament of all the scandals it’s associated with. Match/spot fixing, black money transactions with players, rowdy behaviour of some franchise owners, drunk players going berserk at the IPL parties, cheerleaders being hit on, crowd mismanagement at the venues, etc, etc. I don’t know if the BCCI is aware of this, but the IPL carries very little respect and credibility across the world. I was stunned by the constant allegations of match fixing on the social media right through the two months. Clearly that’s not good for the IPL brand.

 

The auctioning process needs to be made transparent. And the fee paid to all players made public. (We still don’t know how much Sachin and Dhoni get paid.) Since the IPL is not a private party, its financial records must be made public. This will only help the tournament gain some much needed brownie points.

 

There have to be clear guidelines laid out for all members who get free passes at the venues. On how they must conduct themselves, and the exact benefits allowed to them. The reason Shah Rukh Khan got into a skirmish at the Wankhede stadium is because no one told him he’s not allowed to take children onto the cricket ground.

 

Navjot Sidhu, Ravi Shastri, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Danny Morrison and a few others should be given a break from commentary duty for a few seasons. And instead, some old boys and T20 misfits like Ganguly and Dravid must be removed from the field and brought into the commentary box.

 

Lastly and most importantly, a separate contract needs to be signed between the BCCI and the Royal Challengers team owner, Dr Vijay Mallya. This contract should make it clear that throughout the duration of the tournament, his very bigda hua beta, Sid, shall be barred from tweeting.

 

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PS: Speaking of the IPL, in case you missed it, here’s SRK’s fantastic speech at Yale. Full of beans and full of humour. This is not the SRK who landed up at Wankhede that night, and indulged in deeply vulgar behaviour. I guess basically he’s a cool guy. But is unable to exorcise theDelhimawaali who still lurks inside of him.

 

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