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The IPL blitzkrieg

December 15, 2007

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has announced its signing of Shane Warne for the inaugural season for $400,000 in addition to a slew of other signings, none below $100,000 that amount to $6.7 Million. Bear in mind that this list of thirty two does not include any Indian players yet and who would like to bet against their signing amounts being in excess of that of Shane Warne? In my earlier post- ‘David versus Goliath’, I had mentioned that the biggest strength of the BCCI were its coffers and hence the ability to attract star-power.

Comparing the list of international players, the extent of the IPL’s domination in terms of star-power becomes apparent:

Observation

ICL

IPL

Advantage

Both have almost the same number of international players

29

32

South Africans form the largest percentage of players in both leagues followed by New Zealand

SA (21%)
NZ (21%)
Pak (17%)

SA (31%)
SL (28%)
NZ (16%)

The IPL has more players with considerable test and one-day international experience

49%

63%

IPL

The IPL has seven times as many players who are currently playing for their country (excluding players who have been dropped in the recent past)

4

28

IPL

The ICL has five times as many retired players (from all forms of international cricket)

15

3

IPL

A third ICL’s players are international discards while only Nuwan Zoysa belongs to that category in the IPL

10

1

IPL

With a soon-to-be-announced signing of Indian players by the IPL, the gulf in sheer TRP (Television Rating Point) power will only further widen.

However, this very strength of the IPL could turn out to be its Achilles heel. Some points to ponder:

  • While the crowds will initially flock to watch the abundance of talent, whether these games are played with intensity or whether they are like watered-down exhibition matches remains to be seen. How hard will a currently playing international play in this form of the game? Will he risk tweaking a hamstring in going for that 3rd run?
  • With each international player being a huge personality in itself, will the domestic players participating be reduced to being just lackeys on and off the field?
  • Seven of the IPL’s list are ex or current international captains compared to only three in the ICL. That gives them marquee names to captain the sides or could it be a case of too many cooks?

The core of the IPL Blitzkrieg has been formed. What remains is installing the warheads (read Indian players) onto the missiles. Advantage IPL.

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