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:

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Whats up Mr Chandra?

The iron is still hot.

Did you notice today that key corporates like LG, Samsung, Coke, Pepsi have not bought advertising for India Bangladesh ODIs? Last heard they were arguing for 20-25% cut in ad rates that reportedly go at 1.2 – 2 lakhs per 10 second spot. Guess Neo didn’t give in.

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Cricket World Cup and Indian economy

After some folks calculated the cost of 2007 cricket world cup to Britain’s economy (US $521 million), I thought why not put up a similar number for the Indian economy as well.

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Neo’s All Star Cricket

Neo2Flip flop. Kabhi haan kabhi naa. Don’t call me any of that simply because I am going to put in a good word for Neo here. If you read either of this (Best vs Best), this (BCCI vs MLB) or that (Hoysalas vs Bulls), my dreams of a glamorous, popular and entertaining domestic cricket league should be well known by now.

Neo1So this year, the zonal format domestic one day cricket competition called Deodhar trophy has a new name. They call it the “All Star” series. Face lift with perfectly fitting name – well, I say a good idea! Colored clothing, white balls, nice grounds, day-night matches, nice TV coverage, and experienced commentators like Arun Lal and Laxman Siva. Neo has put together a nice package for us cricket fans.

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Neo racist?

The heat is on Neo now, and for the right reasons. Those ads they ran to drum up excitement around India-Windies and India-Lanka cricket series were definitely not in right taste. Threatening to drown a few tourists in a lake? Showing a few Indians putting tourists in trouble in front of a canine, and showing off a range of Indians – a breastfeeding mom included – as people who wont offer water to spiced up mouths of West Indians. What the hell was all that? If Neo wanted publicity by way of controversy, they sure have had a good dose.

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The mess of Lee Hesh

When Leander says things like these (“Hesh should be honest with himself“), I get this feeling that Lee has more blame to take than Hesh for this embarrassing and disappointing mess they have been as a pair.

These guys were on the top of this world (1999, all four grand slam finals). Just when you thought they would take their performances a notch higher, and give us all Indians the first true professional world champion in any sport, they knocked each other over with their egos. Is it only me who feels that they could have made 5 times more money and titles had they continued their partnership?

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Mahesh Bhupati and Younis Khan

Mahesh Bhupati ran into good friend Younis Khan at Mumbai airport.

“Mahesh bhai, I heard you wont play any tennis for India now.”

“Yes da.”

“But why bhai, why?”

“Sorry da, can’t tell you now. Anyway. Tell me about you, I heard you won’t ever captain Pakistan.”

“Yes Mahesh bhai.”

“But why?”

“Sorry yaar, can’t tell you now.”

Silence for a while. And then they both go.

Autobiography“!?

“Oh yeah.”