A sixer is valued higher than a wicket in the Indian Premiere League (IPL) when it comes to Indian cricketers, found a study done by postgraduate students of the economics department of the University of Mumbai.
Using a statistical tool of regression analysis, the study, IPLonometrics, charted the T20 performance of all 127 players auctioned at the IPL to conclude that Indian batsman are paid far more than Indian bowlers despite the same level of performance.
For example, though batsman Robin Uthappa and Indian pace spearhead, Zaheer Khan boast of similar success rates in their T20 careers, when it came to bidding Uthappa was bought for Rs 9.45 crore ($2.1 million) and Khan at almost half the price at Rs 4.05 crore ($9,00,000).
To compare players, performance measures such as the product of runs per innings and strike rate (RISR) were considered for batsmen and the product of economy and strike rate (ESR) was taken for bowlers.
“IPL is primarily a batsman-driven entertainment formula. The audience would much rather see a hailstorm of sixes and fours, especially from their favourite Indian batsmen, rather than high quality bowling,” said Neeraj Hatekar, the professor who guided the study.
Conducted by five students – Amruta Joshi, Anwita Bhure, Arundhati Tillu, Kabir Agarwal and Sushrut Risbud – the study also concluded Indian players are ‘overpaid’ compared to foreign players in the team.
On an average an Indian player earns around Rs 3.15 crore ($7,00,000) more than a foreign player, despite the exact same T20 performances.
To illustrate the instance of Indian batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Australian batsmen Cameron White was used. Gambhir with an RISR of 3208 fetched Rs 10.8 crore ($2.4million), White with a higher RISR of 3232 got only Rs 4.95crore ($ 1.1 million).
“The IPL is built for Indian cricketers. With it being mandatory for seven Indian players to be part of every team, there is a scarcity of good Indian cricketers and so their prices skyrocket,” said Tillu.