So here we are with an IPL auction occurring on the 8th and 9th of January, 2011. Was this necessary at all? Were two teams required to make the IPL more lucrative and better than it already was?
First and foremost, I'd like to point out that two teams weren't required at all in this season's IPL. Eight teams were just doing fine. The two new franchises Kochi and Pune were bought at very high prices, if you add the prices at which the teams were bought they add up to a whopping Rs. 3,235 cr which is more than the prices paid for the original eight teams combined. Good money making motive, eh? Ideally, if the BCCI weren't moneybags that they are, they would have in all means started another tier of 6-8 teams and used the promotion-relegation system as it's used in Football. Such a venture would have also helped a lot more cricketers a chance to play in the IPL and it could have spread the event to other parts of the country.
Cheerleaders at a game in IPL '08
Coming to the players auction which is taking place in a fortnight's time in Bangalore. It's a shame really, I can't really understand why there is a need for the whole process to happen. Level playing field for the two new franchises? That's their bloody problem if they were tubelights who woke up three years late. The teams that are already in the league should have been the first ones to have negotiations for new contracts with every member of their squad. The players who couldn't strike a deal with their franchises, could have been placed in the auction without a reduction of money or limit on the number of players who could be retained. The process of retention of players just widened the smiles on the faces of the Pune and Kochi owners seeing two franchises in Chennai SuperKings and Mumbiai Indians have half their money gone on four players and three other teams whose pockets will be smaller in the auction.
Now coming to the procedure of actual auction that is taking place. I find the whole thing that is held every year, a bit ridiculous. I think the player should be consulted while the auction is taking place. What if he wants to play for his home tean for any price and doesn't want to show up for another team for a very high price? I'm quite sure there are a few Francesco Totti's and Matt Le Tissier's in Indian Cricket. It's plain stupidity just giving away the player to the highest bidder and not thinking about the player and whom he plays for. We already have Robin Uthappa who said he didn't particularly enjoy playing for Mumbai Indians in the first season and was glad that Royal Challengers Bangalore bought him.
To summarize it all. IPL was a good idea(I wouldn't call it a great one because it's based on The Football League System and American Sports) but has been led down by the board acting like money grabbing whores and desire for Page 3 limelight. Now it's merely turned into a commercial event. From Lalit Modi to Shashi Tharoor, the IPL could have been so much better as a sporting event if it was handled the right way.