Amit Varma pursues a favourite theme on the IPL. That big money brings accountability:
What the IPL setup guarantees is that it isn't
just Vijay Mallya's players who are accountable to him - Mallya himself
is accountable to the market. If Mallya manages his team badly, it will
perform badly, and his franchise's bottomline will take a hit. Had
Charu Sharma been in the wrong, he would have been held accountable by
Mallya, point proved. But if the poor man was blameless, then Mallya
will be held accountable by market forces.
The IPL is not
just a competition between cricketers. It is also a competition between
management styles. Contrast Bangalore and Mumbai, for example. Both had
a similarly bad start to the tournament - if anything, Mumbai's was
worse, what with their acting captain, Harbhajan Singh, involved in
Slapgate. But the management of both teams handled it differently.
The disparity between the owners' wealth and the players' lack of bargaining power suggests that other players will flock to him if he simply spends yet more money next year (when the caps are removed). That sort of accountability at least won't work at all.
In a great post on the upcoming 25th anniversary of India winning the World Cup, Dileep Premachandran in effect talks of another kind of accountability. What responsibility does the BCCI owe to that great team? Can they wash their hands of the celebrations just because of the "rebel" ICL angle?
Strange indeed are the ways of Indian cricket. A nation's real
cricket culture can be gauged from the way it treats its heroes. The
respect with which Australia and its cricket officials treated the late
Bill Brown was a great lesson for everyone connected with the game in
India. Each time I saw the reverence with which he was welcomed at the
Gabba, I'd remember sitting with BS Chandrasekhar, architect of India's
first great overseas win (The Oval, 1971) in a run-down club in a
far-from-posh suburb of Bangalore, eating a greasy omelette from a
plate that hadn't been washed properly.
It shouldn't be that way. But BCCI eyes that have been blinded by
the colour of money don't see that. Not that it matters. The likes of
Sunny and Kapil don't need validation from some petty, no-name
officials. Those whose lives they changed forever a quarter of a
century ago will honour them in their own way. And it'll probably mean
a whole lot more than an open-top bus ride down to board HQ.
Finally, Jrod argues convincingly that Ramprakash making it to a hundred first class hundreds should be seen as a mark of failure. If he had played Test cricket regularly, he wouldn't have had the time to make so many hundreds. And the Economic Times has a graph of support across the metros for different IPL teams.