Forget NBA, NFL: IPL is Future?


For people who don’t know IPL, IPL is today’s money making machine in the sports arena. IPL aka Indian Premier League is the largest sports (cricket) entertainment in terms of money and entertainment. Now, the idea of IPL is not new. It exists in various forms of other games like basketball (NBA), soccer, football (NFA) and many more. So, what makes IPL the most popular game.

  • Cricket: Cricket is one of the craziest games of many countries especially in Asia. Go to any nook and corner of the countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and you will find kids and people playing cricket with a bat and ball. Very few them make it to the playing 11 of the team but to be 11, is like a dream come true for anyone. In India, cricketers and film stars are like demi-gods. If one legend dies, the whole country goes down in no time. If India gives one bad performance in a cricket match, the effigies are burnt. One would be surprise to know that we have temples to worship cricketers and film stars. Moreover, IPL paved the way for shortest version of cricket games: 20-over bringing the excitement right onto the audience
  • Entertainment: Cheer-leading has never been a profession earlier in India but it is one now. How can someone forget the Knight Riders’ team Cheer-leading Reality Show. Additionally, not to forget the eminent filmstars associated with IPL: Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and many more. Not to forget how dozens more flock around during the matches to promote themselves and their movies.

The marriage of above two fields. Cricket and Entertainment was deadly and that drove the whole nation crazy. Of course, one might say the business model is not new. There is nothing innovative. Of course, yes. I do agree but then no one introduced the concept better than IPL. And let us accept the fact: almost all our business models are the borrowed concepts from abroad: well tested and proven because we, Indians,  (most of us) are not risk-takers by nature.

Today, IPL has emerged as the biggest and largest money spinner in its genre in the sports domain surpassing all NBA and NFL. Last year, its brand value was estimated to be $4.13 Bn and with the addition of two new franchisees, it is going to be more this year. Let us look at the some of the auction highlights of this year:

  • A total of 127 players were sold in the two-day auction at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore, while 12 players were originally retained by the franchises ahead of the auction.
  • Deccan Chargers have 14 players, spending $6,875,000 and keeping $2,125,000 still to spend. Dale Steyn ($1.2 mn) and Cameron White ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players for the team.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders have 12 players, spending $8,575,000 and keeping $425, 000 still to spend. Gautam Gambhir ($2.4 mn) and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 mn) were star cricketers.
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore have 16 players, spending $8,640, 000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Saurabh Tiwary ($1.6 mn) and AB de Villiers ($1.1 mn) were top fetchers.
  • Mumbai Indians have 12 players, spending $8,520,000 and keeping $480,000 still to spend. Rohit Sharma ($2 mn) and Andrew Symonds ($850,000) rocked the table for Mumbai Indians.
  • Sahara Pune Warriors, the new franchise, have 14 players, spending $8,070,000 and keeping $930,000 still to spend. Robin Utthappa ($2.1 mn) and Yuvraj Singh ($1.8 mn) were their prized possessions.
  • Team Kochi, another new franchise, have 17 players, spending $8,640,000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Mahela Jayawardhane ($1.5 mn) and Muttiah Muralitharan ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players.
  • Delhi Daredevils have 17 players, spending $8,250,000 and keeping $750,00 still to spend. Irphan Pathan ($1.9 mn), David Warner ($750,000) and Umesh Yadav ($750,000) were star cricketers bought.
  • Chennai Super Kings have 18 players, spending $8,615,000 and keeping $385,000 in pocket. R Ashwin ($850,000) and S Badrinath ($800,000) were top fetchers.
  • Rajasthan Royals have 8 players, spending $6,195,000 and keeping $805,000 in pocket. Ross Taylor ($ 1 mn) and Johan Botha ($950,000) emptied their suitcase.
  • Kings XI Punjab have 11 players, spending $6, 945, 000 and keeping $2,005,000 in pocket. David Hussey ($1.4 mn), Adam Gilchrist ($900,000), Piyush Chawla ($900,000), Dinesh Karthik ($900,000) were their prized possessions.
  • Rajasthan Royals were allotted budget of $7 million because of Bombay High court order.
  • Koklkata Knight Riders were constantly on the news: for picking up Gautam Gambhir for a record money and then not taking the star player of the region and former Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly.
  • Saurav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle went unsold. More than Brian Lara, this IPL auction put a BIG DOT on the cricketing career of one of the most successful Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly. Media left no time to make a fuss about the situation and broke hell on Dada. Most surprisingly, can Kolkata Knight Rider play without Saurav Ganguly in the player’s hometown itself? I guess yes, because this is India and lets be honest, we take few seconds to make a star and few seconds to bring someone to ashes.
  • The another aspect of auction side of KKR is: If I am not wrong, they are the only team to have broke even and into the profits. Don’t forget that they have never qualified for the semi-finals and have been one of the worst performers in the league. The credit goes to the King Khan of Bollywood, their franchise owner, Shahrukh Khan. Personally, I don’t like him or his acting but I love his presence of mind and his sheer attitude and marketing skills inspire me a lot. Remember, those xxx energy drink or the cheer-leading Reality show, SRK rocked the IPL with his own presence. SO, why KKR needs to play when both franchise owners and players are happy earning money without winning matches.
  • Personally, I feel Team Kochi made intelligent buys and did not put in money anywhere where the stake was too high. A lesson well learned from the Deccan Chargers from the past.
  • Anil Kimble made a smart move by opting himself out of the auction at the right time. Prestige and honor kept intact and he also got to mentor the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
  • Rahul Dravid, another star player of Indian Cricket team, just escaped the fate of Saurav Ganguly when he was picked up but it is a YELLOW light for Dravid. Be careful for the next auction.
  • Youngsters from India and abroad made the most out of this auction. A lot of unknown names got picked up over well known names: a very good positive sign. I am a strong believer in the power of fresh blood and Ia m sure some of them are going to make their dream run this IPL. Best of Luck to all of them!!!
  • Last year, IPL debuted on youtube, live streaming all matches. I expect this year they should live tweet also 🙂
  • IPL3 also debuted on movie theaters, showing the IPL matches live in the multiplexes. So, I guess you can grab your popcorn this year too.

IPL4 is going to have more matches and it is going to get bigger and better. I have always been a strong fan of Mumbai Indians and I am going to stick to my team this year too. Who will win IPL4? What do you think?

Just sit back, relax, get your popcorn and enjoy!!! For me, I am more interested in knowing the facts and success of both IPL4 and Cricket World Cup and we will try to bring you a post-tournament report. I am curious to co a sided-by-side analysis of the two biggest cricketing events of the year. Are you anxious? Do check back that time…

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