Damned mail that led to furore in cricket circles
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke's allegations that Lalit Modi, the suspended IPL chairman, had been hobnobbing with the English Counties for a parallel Indian Premier League has created quite a ruckus.
Hindustan Times has accessed the email sent by Clarke to the BCCI and the subsequent show cause notice issued by the Indian board to Modi. The minutes of the meeting attached by ECB chairman Giles Clarke in his email are addressed by Stewart Regan to all the Test centres in England. Excerpts:
Andrew Wildblood (Executive VP — IMG)
Peter Griffiths (Senior VP/ Director of Operations — IMG)
Plus 3 of us [(Regan, Colin Povey (Warwickshire) and David Hodgekiss (Lancashire)]
10 existing Indian franchise owners offered first right to buy English franchise as part of the auction process. They would be encouraged to bring on board a 50 per cent UK-based shareholder to allow for a UK identity to be presented publicly.
80 per cent of gross revenues from commercial activity go to the franchises including TV deal monies, sponsorship, advertising, etc. 20 per cent goes to the clubs (i.e. us!)
IPL would GUARANTEE NOW a figure of $3m to $5m per annum to each of us plus a staging fee for hosting the games ($1.5m per annum each) if we were to support the idea. They are absolutely convinced we are sitting on a gold mine! Why?
No opportunity for further matches in India due to player availability.
UK schedule and season fits well with India.
UK matches could go out live in Indian TV.
The IPL model relies heavily on ‘star players’ and this is why they have been so successful. They have taken TV and sponsorship monies from the film and soap opera categories and brought women into the game like never before. Matches include fashion shows, after-match parties and entertainment. They have launched the word ‘CRICKETAINMENT’ which I think is really innovative. Players are now the new 'idols' in India...
Going forward, availability will be key and Modi predicts a revolution among players if they are not allowed to get involved. Indeed, he will soon launch a new franchise rule stating that a player has to be available to be auctioned. Given the earning potential, he expects players to demand to be part of it.
If governing bodies try to block the development of IPL20 then the franchisees could simply buy out the players and create their own structure. Modi believes that most star players would take the money rather than spend months playing country/state or indeed Test cricket. Indeed, if he wanted he could launch IPL Tests & ODIs!
(For Full excerpts Log onto www.hindustantimes.com)