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Expanding World Cricket with IPL Franchises

Many people in India think Cricket is the national sport. Cricket is so popular in India. Now this sport is booming with the newly formed Indian Premier League (IPL), a billion-dollar baby of BCCI.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched the Indian Premier League (IPL) on September 14, 2007. Based on the lines of the English Premier League (EPL) and the National Basketball League (NBA), the IPL is said to be the brainchild of BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi. The idea was first floated in 1996 but was shot down as the board felt it would go against the zonal system of domestic cricket. The project moved into top gear when the Zee group launched a rival Indian Cricket League on similar lines in April 2007.

Similar to the NBA, IPL has started the idea of franchising eight teams in the fray. They can run them in their own styles, bring their own sponsors and even name the team according to their choice. They will even be free to list their teams on the stock exchange. When IPL advertised to sell its franchises, all the big people showed interest to bid for them.

  • Vijay Mallya won the bid for the Bangalore team for $111.6 million.
  • Shah Rukh Khan won the bid for the Kolkata team for $75.09 million.
  • GMR Holdings won the bid for the Delhi team for $84 million.
  • Mukesh Ambani won the bid for the Mumbai team for $111.9 million.
  • India Cements won the bid for the Chennai team for $91 million.
  • Deccan Chronicle won the bid for the Hyderabad team for $107.01 million.
  • Emerging Media won the bid for the Jaipur team for $67 million.
  • Ness Wadia won the bid for the Mohali team for $76 million, reportedly.
  • Kingfisher Airlines' tie-up with IPL follows a title sponsorship deal worth $50 million with DLF, the real-estate major, a co-sponsorship pact of $22.5 million with Hero Honda, the motorbike company, and beverage partnership of $12.5 million with Pepsico.

    Now look at the player remunerations. Mahendra Singh Dhoni of Chennai team was offered $1.5million for 3year contract. Rahul Dravid for Bangalore got $1.03million, Sehwag for Delhi team got $833k, Andrew Symonds for Hyderabad team got $1.35million, Ganguly for Kolkata team was offered $1.09million, Yuvaraj Singh of Mohali team was offered $1.06million and Sachin Tendulkar of Mumbai was offered $1.12million.

    IPL will start playing from April 18, a total of 59 matches spread over 44 days. The overall prize money will be US $5 million, with the winners taking home $2 million. The remaining will be up for grabs in different forms, like man of the match awards and cash prizes. By contrast, the winners of the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean took home $1 million; the Indian team that won the World Twenty20 got half of that. TV rights have already gone for over $1 billion. Franchisees have already committed close to US $723 million. Top players are expected to earn minimum 1-2 crores per season.

    For cricket to thrive on a global basis the longer versions of the game need to survive in order for young players to hone a wide range of skills. However, Test cricket is struggling in many countries and even the 50-over game is considered a tired format in some regions. In addition, the star players are now in such demand that there's a danger they'll eventually be drained of all their enthusiasm and flair.

    A common complaint about the IPL centres around the money paid to individual cricketers. Does Rohit Sharma really deserve more than Ricky Ponting? Are the men paying Ishant Sharma more than Dale Steyn and Glenn McGrath making a silly mistake? We don't know the answers yet, atleast till the season start. Irrespective of this, the IPL has started the cricket to be among the top sports of the world with huge sums of money being offered.

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