Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to clean the IPL mess?

A lot is being said about IPL nowadays so I thought why not join the bandwagon. After all, IPL which was supposed to be a mix of cricket and glamour, has instead become a topic taking black money, conflict of interests, match fixing, abuse, molestations too into its fold.

As is the case (discussed in one my earliest post as well) that those who run the IPL i.e. organizers (IPL committee), the regulators (read BCCI but don’t ask me if they are too different from the IPL committee) and the sponsors (including the advertisers, broadcasters and team owners) are too intertwined and thus this combination has become just “Too big to fail”.

Given the existing fate of the sports bill tabled by Mr. AjayMaken, I am not too hopeful that there is any magic wand that the government can wave to clean the mess. In fact my only hope is the audience now. If you look at the diagram accompanying this blog, the diamond shaped stakeholders (I haven’t named them so that you go through the text of the blog as well) are the spectators including the TV as well as the stadium ones.

The spectators, a disaggregated lot right now, can be united once they have conclusive evidence whether IPL is a hard-fought cricket battle or a WWE-like show, and the results will start showing in the form of TRPs. Of course revelations every now and then, about behind-the-scene happenings too will expedite the fall as the cartel at the top might get weakened but the tipping point will be the audience interest.  Thus the "audience interest" is the only hope as far as cleaning the “IPL mess” is concerned.

I recall my strategy prof. referring to IPL being an example of dynamic equilibrium as the power centre in this set up keeps changing as every stakeholder has different goal in sight. I think, he is still right but given the state of cartelization in IPL, that equilibrium may remain static till the “janta” rises i.e. Jab ye public jaan jaaegi

So the message is, “The market forces will decide”. 


  1. But I guess too much has been said about IPL. The fact is that this time it is a much bigger hit, with all the stadiums filled up to capacity. The stadium fill rate is far greater than last year (Last year due to WC win, it was an overdose of cricket). This year everyone seems to be watching IPL.
    As far as incidents (post match brawl) etc is concerned, it has been happening since long back. Ponting was allegedly involved in a brawl in 1996 in a pub in Kolkata. Kambli was too involved.
    And the fixing thing is brought to light which happened in a domestic T20.

    The problem is at root levels and that needs to be cleaned. You are very right in audience interest being the paramount criteria for cleaning the mess. But the mess is not IPL, it is the way the sports bodies are run in India. Its the glamour of IPL which has brought that to light.

  2. And before talking about the IPL mess, we need to also look at our very own Parliament. Everything is present there as well: what about the 'hulla', throwing of tables and chairs, shouting, shouting foul language to each other. Kirti Azad should look first at his own work place and then probably take a dig at the IPL.

  3. Adrit, as usual, you make some very informed comments. While I would agree that IPL may not be responsible for all the brawls or every second incidents that players get involved in outside their playing hours. But incidents related to SRK & Preity Zinta, as they were on-field, surely needed interventions from the IPL organizers. Instead SRK incidence ended up being an ego clash between MCA & SRK. Even black money being paid to players from IPL franchisees needs direct intervention. And I don't even want to get into the conflict-of-interest debate.

    Also if asking Kirti to clean the parliament first then ask IPL would be similar to politicians asking Team Anna to come clean on allegations before asking them to tackle corruption. After all two wrongs don't make a right.

    While, as pointed by you, the mess can be cleaned more efficiently by addressing the way the sports bodies are run in India. But, given the success achieved by efforts of Ajay Maken and other sports-persons, I think that may not be possible anytime soon. Do you think otherwise?

  4. I agree to it. I feel that it is the sport which is going to keep on the strength of these leagues. Glamour can be a part but it is only the quality of sport on the field which will sustain the popularity and success of any league