Accreditation mess: IPL shoots itself in the foot | india | Hindustan Times
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Accreditation mess: IPL shoots itself in the foot

Marketing is one of the vital departments for the league's continued growth, and what better way than making sure that the media exposure is handled with care and sensitivity. Amol Karhadkar writes.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2011 00:11 IST
Amol Karhadkar

In what should come as a major embarrassment for the Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers, Kings XI Punjab's bowling coach Jason Gillespie was forced to watch the tie against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali from the hospitality box.

Reason: The IPL organisers are yet to issue an accreditation for the former Australia speedster that would enable him to sit in the players' dug out.

When the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League kicked off in 2008, it was seen as a perfect model for cashing in on the tremendous commercial value that the game, with its massive following in India, had.

However, one would have expected that, for the continued success of the business model, the organisers of IPL would equally focus on all the areas that need to be covered.

Marketing is one of the vital departments for the league's continued growth, and what better way than making sure that the media exposure is handled with care and sensitivity.

However, days into the IPL's fourth season, that is one area that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-led organising body has turned its back on.

For all his faults and shortcoming he was blamed for, Lalit Modi, the brain behind the franchise cricket league, made sure the basic functional areas for the tournament was up and running from the word go.

By contrast, Chirayu Amin, the man who took over the reins after the acrimonious exit of Modi, has clearly fallen short. And more importantly, neither he nor the IPL's Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman, seem to have much time for tournament accreditation.

When Amin took over the reigns of IPL after Modi's ouster, and the board took a firmer grip on the proceedings, he had promised the league would be run as professionally as it had been.

Gillespie, when queried by a host of the official broadcasters during the live telecast of the game, said, "My accreditation hasn't yet come through, so I am not allowed to go downstairs."

Agreed Gillespie was a late appointment, but the KXIP management had applied for his accreditation on April 9. If four days are not good enough to process an accreditation card for a squad member, then accusing fingers are bound to be pointed at the IPL set-up.

If this is the plight of Gillespie, what can the mediamen, many of whom are still waiting to be handed over their match accreditations, expect? One week into the tournament, more than half the scribes are still waiting to be notified whether their application has been accepted or rejected. Moreover, volunteers and officials at most of the venues were made to run from pillar to post as well for their passes.

So who is responsible for the whole mess?

There is no doubt the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) media cell has to be held accountable for messing up. A large share of the blame has to also go to the International Management Group (IMG), the event managers who along with Modi had conceptualised the event and continue to be involved.