Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lalit Modi’s Admission of Too Much Cricket and Long IPL Season A Change

Lalit Modi The former IPL chairman and commissioner is finally admitting that the IPL is long and that too much cricket is affecting Indian cricket

It is interesting that someone who once flamboyantly stated that nothing was too much as far as cricket was concerned is now raising some rather pertinent points about the game. it is because he is now outside the ring?

Lalit Modi, the former IPL chairman and commissioner, is now confined to London as he faces financial irregularities charges with the Enforcement Directorate having posted look outs for him at India’s entry points. With the BCCI virtually nailing the former IPL czar for the controversies that erupted in the midst of the IPL 3 season, Modi has not been able to return India as he faces criminal charges.

The one time flamboyant talker has mellowed, if only somewhat, although he remains largely defiant of went down with the IPL. While speaking to a cricket website, Modi reportedly admitted that too much cricket was behind the fall out that Indian cricket is facing at the moment while also, now stating without compunction that the IPL is a long tournament. It is not the fact that he is making some rather obvious statements but rather the fact that he is saying it that makes this most interesting.

There was a time when everything about the IPL was loud, garish even and Modi led the pack rather pompously, dressed to the hilt and hollering from the rooftops of the IPL being above the sport itself and how it would transform how cricket was viewed around the world. Although the IPL did achieve those dizzying heights in the initial phase, the reality of the financial mayhem have subdued the expectations as well as the initial euphoria and frenzy around the tournament.

Modi was ready to sell IPL and cricket to the world and in that, even when the wisdom of hosting as many matches and the prospect of hosting ninety-four matches in the IPL 4 season was question, Modi famously spoke in television interviews and in the print media that there was no such thing as ‘too much cricket’. Those were his precise words, if one were to rewind to those interviews. At the moment, Modi did not feel that there was a Twenty20 overkill as far as the IPL was concerned and he even believed that the cricket fans would lap up cricket even if the BCCI and the IPL chose to flood the summer with their money spinning extravaganza.

Now that Modi is admitting that the cricket calendar has become hectic for the Indian cricketers and that it was taking its toll in that several Indian cricketers have been rendered injured and therefore, returning midway through the Indian tour of England to disastrous results and that he has also admitted to scheduling problems, particularly when the World Cups around the corner, is significant.

Modi’s reference that the BCCI is unable to change the format or reduce the duration of the IPL is perhaps alluding to the fact that the IPL franchisees have signed up for huge sums with the intent that there would be a significant amount of cricket played during the Indian summer to ensure return on investments.

What is most intriguing is whether Modi would have been as forthcoming and had a change of heart in his conversation were he still seen in those colourful suits, fiddling on his cell phone and screaming and signing autographs as the grandmaster of the ring?

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