Thursday, February 21, 2008

IPL BCCI and the failure of cricket

The final nail in the coffin has been hit.  IPL eventually kicked off with the famed "auction" of cricket players from all over the world.  The BCCI has been trying to mastermind something similar to the soccer leagues in Europe, with the ultimate objective of centrally master minding the whole thing and making money off of a cricket crazy nation.

Millions will end up watching more cricket - that too, the really shorter version of it and now even more frequently.  Not just that, the BCCI is also betting that cricket crazy Indians are just that "Cricket crazy" and Indians next.  At some level it takes the fun out of the game - who do you cheer for?  what is the optimal grouping rule here? 

I cheer for Penn State against Ohio State; I cheer for UNC against Duke; I cheer for AC Milan against Real Madrid; for Argentina against England;for India against Pakistan and finally (now) for Pakistan against Australia!  I am not sure how the Indian cricket psyche works - will a Jaipurian cheer for Ponting against Khaif? I am not sure! In fact, I don;t think I can answer that question. Because, I always though to cricket as a game that flames nationalist passions and that is why it was so hugely popular in India.  Now, the rules of the game are different.  I don't believe that BCCI has got the pulse of the nation right!

3 comments:

S said...

Girish,

I agree with you on this. I am doing my PhD in 'service innovation' (in Australia) and I do not see many reasons why this new concept will succeed. The concept is not well grounded and the euphoria is unjustifed. I suppose very soon there will be a day where 'the world where everything is goes up' is going to meet 'the world where few things are left standing'. Let's wait and see whether our predictions come true. - Sandeep Salunke

Girish Mallapragada said...

Sandeep,

I appreciate your comment. I am also basing my judgment on a hunch that there will be cricket fatigue:)

S said...

Wow! That resonates with what I have been telling my little brother all summer. I termed it 'viewer fatigue' where assuming that we have a certain number of 'viewing hours', making inroads into that slot is not going to be easy. More so, as their revenue model will depend on the advertising $$$ inflow, the pressure will be on. When I said that it's not well-grounded, I meant there's more rhetoric and less logic/ strategy underpinning the initiative :)

Check out these links:

http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/apr/14shah.htm
http://ipl.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/England_in_talks_with_US_billionaire_to_rival_IPL/articleshow/2954367.cms