ICL vs IPL, domestic vs international

I may not have written lately on the topic – the untapped market for organized domestic cricket, and a dream – but I have been watching them both, ICL and IPL. Thanks to the monopolistic protection from BCCI and ICC, IPL is going great guns. Aussie cricket stars signed up, Russel Crowe interested in owning an IPL team, and more – hope you have been reading the papers. On the other hand, ICL is struggling to sign big names, and I am sure will struggle to get cricket venues though it has announced it will start the league end of November.

I am no die hard backer of ICL. I mean I don’t really care whether its IPL or ICL, as long as I get my 3-4 month season of quality cricket without patriotic pretensions  and at my  preferred times – late evening every other day and weekend afternoons. I also want to experience the stadium atmosphere once in a while with family, the noise and crowd thrills.

So, will IPL provide us all that? I am still not sure. Here are my apprehensions:

  • The meaningless internationals are not going away. whats the point in playing these 5 or 7 match one day internationals when you can get to watch quality players from multiple nations every other evening via a rich domestic league?
  • I don’t see any steps yet to cut other domestic tournaments to a) make space for IPL, and b) make IPL/ICL little exclusive as far as watching players in action is concerned.
  • I don’t see anything on the ground yet to tell me that I will get my quality stadium experience, you know, without the dirty chairs, stinking urinals and ticketing nightmares.
  • Last and most important, BCCI’s monopoly and opacity on cricket has denied us, the paying (we pay by time, sitting next to TV) public, quality cricket-entertainment for decades. I don’t see anything that tells me that either the monopoly or non-transparency is going to go away.

That last point there is the most important one. Is BCCI a money making body, or a public body? It must do certain things to earn the good faith we put in it to run the cricket affairs in our country, and one of those is transparency in its operations and accounts. Otherwise, who is to say that a bunch of businessmen and politicians wont use IPL etc to make their personal fortunes?

Let us keep watching. IPL or ICL, I just cant wait for the day when I will have better choices than Saas-Bahu skirmishes, cheap stings or millionth re-run of 1983 and 1985 Cup Finals on prime time TV :)

PS: BTW, why have so many of top tier Indian players not signed up with IPL yet? What are the rumors there? They know BCCI well enough to read through their thick pile of papers called contracts. Must be something there bothering them.


4 Responses

  1. pranav:

    for starters, i wish dravid and kumble signed up with ipl. would be nice!

    belated deepavali greetings to you all.

    – s.b.

  2. wan to do scoring in icl

  3. icl is best for upcoming stars. i am scorer and i want to do scoring in icl matches

  4. s.b. – greetings to you as well, and welcome back. I have been off this blog a bit as far as replying to comments is concerned, sort of back now.

    sumesh, s.b.My problem with IPL and BCCI ias this – they assume they have the sarkaari monopoly over ‘official’ cricket in India. But they don’t provide transparency that goes with being a sarkaari monopoly.

    If you don’t like transparency, please be a regular private cricket body and compete with other private bodies like ICL. But if you want to be the ‘official’ cricket body, please be transparent in your financial and planning activities.

    Makes sense? I expect a good round of court battles between ICL and IPL next year.

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