Sunday, January 9, 2011

IPL auction

Will IPL affect Indian cricket? I certainly think so. Because of IPL, a larger pool of players will benefit both monetarily as well as get exposure with the top cricketers around the world. But it is also influencing it in a bad way. Players like Ishant and Irfan seem to have lost their interest in playing test cricket after their millions in IPL. Now, Robin Uthappa gets above 2 million dollars, while technically correct players like Dravid and Laxman get picked up for 25% of this amount. If this is due to the latter's age, then even young players like Vijay and Pujara get paid much lower than this because they can not score at a maniac rate. I believe that the current test series in South Africa was drawn because of two main players: Laxman and Sachin. These players came through the ranks when money in dollars was not the prime criteria for performance or working hard to perform well.

Good cricketers, like researchers, should be nurtured and are unlikely to perform if money is the only primary criteria and if the atmosphere is completely commercial. This is one of the reasons why the top private Indian universities do not attract the top Indian researchers despite the 3x salaries.


VA said...

Scoring lots of runs quickly is also a talent. VVS Laxman and Dravid are great batsmen but in T20 we don't need technically correct players, we need pinch hitters.
A better solution would be to increase the salaries for the test players.
Also top Indian researchers would go to private universities, if they have an environment for research. I don't see why you are making such a flawed analogy.

Anonymous said...

IPL provides a commercial atmosphere and is not conducive to developing batsman, who are technically correct. A stage will come when the pool of technically correct players will dry up and we will be back to #5 in world test rankings.

The analogy is correct. A private university in India does not provide the environment for research. No top researchers in India work for these universities.
Similarly, no technically correct players play for good money in IPL.


Anonymous said...

Playing T20 requires talent but not so much as playing test cricket. You can get found out in test cricket. This is the reason why many of test team discards play T20.

Look at the T20 match today against South Africa. How many players are common between the test side and the T20 side? None, except the captain. Because of the big bucks, slowly, you may reach a stage where there are no test worthy players.

L said...

While I do not have enough knowledge of cricket to comment on the thread, I would like to comment that the statements made throughout the last two days ad nauseum "so and so sold for xx million dollars" sounds terrible... like feudal times.

armugam said...

you are both right and wrong. your analogy should be seen as follows:
test = traditional chem engg. like reactors and stuff
t20 = newfangled nanotech and stuff

not necessarily bad, but a paradigm shift

Giri@iisc said...


It is really sad to see cricketers being auctioned-off even without considering whether they are prepared to join a particular club or not. They are being forced to work for their owners just like how it was in the era when slave-trade prevailed. Adam Gilchrist famously said that he felt like a cow which has been sold-off at a cattle auction.

Skeptic said...

Good analogy with the private universities! They pay high salaries to academics and expect them to teach a lot. But academics who enjoy research are a misfit there. Similarly in IPL the teams pay high amounts for pinch hitting talent but the technically sound players find no takers. But this is more true for batsmen than for bowlers. Are bowlers the academic administrators then (like Dean or Director -- fit in into any system)?

Giri@iisc said...


Astute observation. However, the deans and directors in IISc are selected based on academic prowess!

However, your question is very interesting. I think bowlers quickly adapt to bowling a line/length that yields a good economy rate without taking wickets. Slowly, they lose the ability to take wickets. Case in point, Ishant Sharma. Slowly, we may develop a class of bowlers (like batsmen) who can play only T20.

Thanks again for your observation


balaji said...

Private universities pay a lot but do not focus on research. IPL has ensured that players dont really care too much about playing for the country.

Anonymous said...

technically correct engineering graduates who wish to do higher studies gets rs 8000/month as stipend where as so called "soft skilled engineering graduates" those who join an IT company gets a starting pay of rs 40000/month!

Anonymous said...

Ph.Ds with experience abroad get Rs 30 lakh if they join a private firm but get Rs 6 lakh if they join IISc

Ankur Kulkarni said...

I frankly think IPL is a good development. Most young men who choose a career in sports end up making a risky choice, often against the intention of their families. IPL has allowed more men to make a respectable living after making this choice than was earlier possible (with only 15-20 top spots offering decent pay).

Besides, IPL has also discovered new talents the national team and raised the overall standard in domestic cricket too. It is also more entertaining than much of television.

In fact, I think it would be nice if similar leagues could be devised for other sports and possibly other spheres of life.

Anonymous said...

Would it be fair to compare the lifetime earnings of an academic (who had spent the many years just to be qualified enough to get a job)in a reasonably well known institution with that of a reasonably well known cricketer ? If it is fair, is this the direction that we want our society to go towards ?


Giri@iisc said...


None of the talent identified in IPL has translated to positions in Test cricket. The best of IPL, Yusuf, Robin and Irfan, may never play test cricket.

My point has been better discussed by Sharda. Look at

The joke was on cricket

"There may well be a generation of upcoming Indian cricketers for whom the hard yards will be most uninteresting. Who can predict the impact of the IPL auction on Indians once itching to be on the World Cup squad? Why bother with the grind of seven ODIs within a month, the weight of a nation's wishes bearing down, if the body can be saved for six weeks of Twenty20 in which 35 is a "great/ fabulous/ brilliant" innings and you're sprinkled with stardust every few days."

Of course, this applies only if you believe test cricket is better cricket.



Ankur Kulkarni said...

I agree that test cricket is better cricket and that IPL has not directly helped test cricket. But I do think IPL is a good development as an option for youngsters who risk their futures and their livelihoods in the hope of making it big on the international scene. It is thanks to the commercialisation of cricket in India that we have been able to keep the temptations away from other more severe unethical practices such as match-fixing.

About the impact on test cricket, I think the long term trends are not yet clear. Given that a young man today who is not able to attain the ultimate heights of good cricket need not suffer in misery the way many ordinary cricketers of the past did, an aspiring cricketer could potentially develop himself more freely. In the long run we may have more Pollards, but I think we will also have more Dravids or Laxmans.

The question is really of whether our value-systems are strong enough to exploit the presence of the commercial option in the right way. I think they are and I see evidence of it amongst Indians of all ages. This is the reason I support the commercialisation happening more widely in India.

Since you have made the analogy with research/academia, imagine the situation many years ago with students aspiring to do PhDs. So many promising students would not go for a PhD programme because "there was no scope/jobs apart from teaching". They instead went for MBAs. Today with companies offering suitable jobs to PhDs we have more people willing to take the risk to do a PhD.

Anonymous said...

Test is the best.

One-day is for Monday
When you are busy,
and there is no time.

Of twenty-twenty,
there is plenty,
to see, but not much to admire,
and this is where I run out of rhyme.