IPL has changed cricket’s economics | india | Hindustan Times
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IPL has changed cricket’s economics

It was once famously said that the selection of the India team aroused more interest than a cabinet reshuffle. That opinion is not valid anymore because the team gets picked every two weeks nowadays, and selection decisions cause only a minor stir.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2010 23:48 IST
Amrit Mathur

It was once famously said that the selection of the India team aroused more interest than a cabinet reshuffle. That opinion is not valid anymore because the team gets picked every two weeks nowadays, and selection decisions cause only a minor stir.

There was no controversy when S Badrinath was chosen ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara/Virat Kohli/Rohit Sharma/ Mohd Kaif because he has been on the fringe for years and made huge runs in domestic cricket at every opportunity.

Nobody is complaining about the spectacular rise of pacer Abhimanyu Mithun either - just three months ago this youngster was playing club cricket in Mysore. His dramatic journey shows how talent, hard work and a slice of luck can change life.

Of course, it helps when you play cricket, because it has the power and ability to fast track success. Such power comes from popularity and mass support, it is an offshoot of what marketing wizards call consumer connect.

Nowhere is this more visible than in the IPL. Surely, the commercial side of the event is staggering as the numbers keep going up. The dynamics of team building in a free market situation is such that a rookie Kieron Pollard commands a stunning price. While a healthy annual county contract in England is worth about 100,000 pounds, the figure in Australia is far less. Compare this to value of Pollard’s IPL contract — his cost, for six weeks’ work is perhaps more than the annual expense on the West Indies cricket team!

The IPL has fundamentally changed cricket’s economics and the rules impacting player availability and loyalties. Swayed by the money on offer, players now weigh business opportunities and restrictions imposed by less lucrative national contracts to decide about early retirement and consider the extreme step - abandoning nation for privately run foreign clubs.

This might shock many but in the long run this seems the only way forward because professionals will seek to maximise commercial value and secure their future.